February 1, 2009
Elliott & Holden cruising with Emilie in her Princess car.
last night I tried a FREE Zumba class at our clubhouse.
I loved it. I want to continue. I looked like a fool. I didn’t care.
I’ve always thought that I had rhythm and could bust a move, but I need to get off my “Coordination High Horse” because somewhere along the line I have lost any and all ability to carry out the simplest of moves. I know that all these hip gyrations and booty shakin’ will come easier as I keep going, but in the mean time I need to get over myself and just do it!
The funny thing is is that I didn’t give a damn about what I looked like. At least I was out there moving and not at home shoving bon bons in my face while watching The Real Housewives Of Orange County. I was movin’ although I was NOT groovin’, and I loved it. In my 20s I would have been more insecure, but now that I’m nearing my “not so 20s”, I don’t care anymore what I look like trying to borderline hip hop dance to BEP’s Boom Boom Pow!
Oh, and I also did all this tomfoolery in my socks…apparently my NB Trail shoes are a little too “tready” for Zumba. I need to get some smooth bottomed shoes. All of a sudden I perked up…..I get to buy new shoes? They may be ugly, black, dorky looking shoes (not a fan of black tennies!), but if they will help me with my moves, I’m all for it!
Let this be my theme song for the day:
Wow! I’m recovering from another awesome weekend.
A “PW” weekend, if you will…
It consisted of “P”lentiful “W”orkouts….
….all because of several “P”ioneer “W”oman recipes that I tried.
We took a little drive and played in some “P”owdery “W”hite!
There were a couple “P”igskin “W”ins to determine this year’s Superbowlers.
So I guess you could say that it was a “P”erfectly “W”onderful weekend!
On Saturday night I made Pioneer Woman’s “most favorite burger ever (for now)”. You can find the recipe here.
They were delish and a nice departure from the turkey burgers with cheddar and horseradish that I’ve been making for the past few years now! Jay was pleased that I finally made some HAMburgers with real ground BEEF!
Here is a “before” pic:
Um, let me just say that what you see above is 2 pounds of meat…PW uses 2 pounds of meat for TWO burgers! What? I mean I know cowboys work hard and all and can put some food away, but WOW! Those’d be some GRANDE burgers! Half pounders are MORE than enough for us!
Here is the “in process” pic:
And, my friends, here is the “after” pic when these babies are all dressed up and ready to go:
Please don’t tell PW that I served her fave burgers with Ore Ida Seasoned Crinkle Fries! Shhhhh!
I tell you, I have a whole new appreciation for the Kaiser Roll! I usually use toasted english muffins for my burgers, but kaisers are a tad crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside! I followed PW’s orders and buttered and toasted them and OMG! Sorry, little english muffins, but these were fantastic and the tabasco mayo, caramelized onions and bleu cheese put them over the top. I used fresh baby spinach as my “green” just so I could feel like there was some sort of healthy component to this meal!
After this scrumptous dinner, I ran to Target to get Holden some boots for the snow since we had a little mini road trip planned for Sunday morning. This is what I found:
Lovin’ all the Paul Frank stuff at one of my favorite stores these days!
I got up early Sunday morning and made some Monkey Bread. Another evil concoction that PW has on her blog!
Now this stuff is like a drug so be careful!
After we ate the sinful Monkey Bread, we headed to Frazier Park for some fun in the snow!
It was a blast and only about 45 minutes away!
And the weekend wouldn’t be complete without me trying PW’s Quesadillas de Camarones.
The quesadillas were good…Jay said the shrimp was “not evident”…hmmm, I think the camarones should be evident in a quesadilla named after them so next time I’ll add more of the little critters. He also wasn’t a big fan of the green salsa, so next time maybe some homemade red salsa to go alongside. After indulging in the monkey bread earlier in the day, I felt guilty about adding butter to the pan to brown and crisp up the tortillas…but I had to follow PW’s orders. Next time I may try to make them a little more figure friendly….I tried to go a little lighter on the queso, too. But overall, they were good!
I also made some quacamole….I can’t blame PW for that. That was all MY doing, unfortunately.
2 ripe avocados
1/4 onion (red or white), minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small tomato, seeded & chopped
bunch cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste
That’s it! Mix it all up and dig in with your favorite tortilla chips.
I think I’ll have to incorporate more “P”lentiful “W”orkouts into this week’s agenda because there are a couple other visions of yumminess I’d like to try on PW’s blog…it’s a vicious cycle!
Forget Team Edward and Team Jacob, I’m on “Team Ree”.
Ree Drummond AKA The Pioneer Woman. She is too cool for school (literally….read on).
I’ve been following a blog for about a year now that my sister introduced me to. This is where I learned of my new idol. You can check out this super cute blog here. I SO have blog envy!
Getting back to P-dub…
The Pioneer Woman is like a quadruple threat – she can cook, she can blog, she can take amazing photos and she can home school her 4 “punks” as she calls them. Now, I have certain feelings about home schooling, but we won’t get into those here. But she makes home schooling sound “cool”.
Her recipes are so entertaining. She calls the ingredients the “cast of characters” and her step-by-step guides are hilarious and accompanied by beautiful photos.
Her story in a nutshell:
Grew up on a country club in the midwest somewhere.
Went to school at USC.
Lived in L.A. for awhile.
Wanted to move to Chicago and become an attorney, but…
Met a bonafide Cowboy one night at a bar instead.
Fell in love with said Cowboy.
Moved to a middle-of-nowhere cattle ranch in Oklahoma.
Started to cook.
Started to blog.
Became my idol!
(Well, I might of left a few things out, but those are the main bullets.)
I told myself that I wasn’t going to buy anymore cookbooks – ANY recipe that I need is on the internet, in a magazine that I already have or on an index card in my recipe box. I’m trying to simplify, so no more cookbooks necessary. Well, I lied. I am going to get The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook. Actually Jay is going to get it for me for Valentine’s Day he just doesn’t know it yet.
I am so excited to try her recipes! This weekend I plan to make the quesadillas de camarones and her “favorite burger” with caramelized onions, bleu cheese and Tabasco mayo! She had me at Tabasco mayo.
I can hardly wait to get to the store and get my shrimp! Thank you PW for getting me to eat more shrimp. I have never been a huge fan of the little crustaceans, but I do eat them from time to time. Hope the quesadilla is as good as it looks! On the other hand, I’ve never met a flour tortilla and some melted cheese that I didn’t like!
Of course, I will report back and have some photos of her eats…
If you haven’t already, please check out thepioneerwoman.com.
Someone recently asked me “What is your fondest memory of Christmas?”
I had to think about it because this question triggered me to think back and relive SO many happy memories of the holidays. I don’t think there is just ONE thing.
My Mom always decorated our home to the nines. Toss pillows on the couch were replaced with green and red numbers, a little Brandy snifter made into a Santa by my Grandfather held green and red M&M’s, a big gold basket held all of the holiday greetings from family and friends, kitchen towels were switched out with ones embroidered with holly, etc., etc. I coule go ON and ON!
I remember loving to sit and look at our tree complete with small colored lights and an assortment of special ornaments collected over the years ~ a good old-fashioned Christmas tree. Each year I would look forward to unwrapping the ornaments from the old, wrinkled tissue paper that protected them in the box throughout the year and place them on the branches. On Christmas morning the gifts would spill out into the entry way from under our tree ~ a tree that just had a handful of packages under it the night before. Santa was ALWAYS very generous.
We would always have toasted Panettone on Christmas morning. My grandmother, Gam, would no doubt come toting a box of this stuff. For me, it was an acquired taste. I’ve grown to love it over the years and now I grab a box of it to enjoy with coffee on Christmas morn.
As a very young girl, I remember going to an annual Christmas party hosted by friends of my parents. They would always have a Santa and my parents would bring a wrapped gift for us. Santa would reach into his sack, pull it out, call our name and we would sit on his lap, tell him what we wished for and walk away with our gift.
I also remember going to the mall with my Dad each year and getting my Mom a big box of See’s candy. She would always tell us that “See’s candy is for adults.” I remember believing her. That didn’t last for long.
I recall visiting a little old lady that my parents knew…she lived in an old folks home and I remember smelling that “old folks home” scent every December. My sister and I would go out into the hall and sit by the big fish tank and watch the fish. This convalescent home visit was a SURE sign that we were in full holiday swing!
My Mom would also make lots of baked goods – peanut butter balls, oatmeal bars (my Dad’s favorite), toffee and orange bread. We would deliver to all the neighbors along with wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I could go on and on. I think that is why I love the holidays so much. So many fun memories as a child. Although I may do things a bit differently now, I know that what I experienced as a child made me appreciate the Christmas season and all the magic that comes along with it.
I think my favorite traditions are sending out cards, baking and shopping for small, token gifts for family & friends. I love taking the kids to see the lights in the neighborhood, visiting Santa, shopping for our annual ornaments, sipping the occasional peppermint coffee drink, overindulging in way too much good food and attending Christmas Eve Mass with the family.
I hope that I pass along the love of the holidays to Elliott & Holden. I want to make Christmas something that they look forward to throughout the year ~ a time spent with family & friends, celebrating tradition and the birth of Baby Jesus.
May you have the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years. May your day be filled with family, friends, food, football and FUN!
Gingerbread hugs & candy cane kisses,
Amy & Co.
OK, so Friday the 13th was the best day ever! I am still smiling ear to ear (no pun intended…get it…mouse ears). We went to Disneyland and it was great. I am happy to say that whatever attendance pattern tracking system Jay found was accurate. The crowds were doable. We literally walked on to many rides the first couple hours we were there and figured that we did 3X as much as we did last year when we went! It was wonderful!
Every time I visit D-land, I wonder…HOW does that place run? What goes on behind the scenes? How do they staff the place? There is someone assigned to sweeping up popcorn the minute it hits the ground, someone to assist you with getting your stroller out from the back of the sea of Gracos, Maclarens, Pegs & Bugaboos (gasp! why would you ever take your Bugaboo to D-land?), someone to watch over the characters while they are being mobbed by kid fans (oh and adult fans – will talk about THAT in a minute)…my point is, I am intrigued with the inner workings of the 8th wonder of the world known as Disneyland. It truly fascinates me.
OK, so please shoot me if, in 15-20 years, Jay and I are at Disneyland by ourselves and I have a lanyard with all the Disney character pins around my neck and am waiting in line for Pixie Hollow to take my pic with Tink and THEN complain after I see Tink and Silver Mist that, “We waited in line for 20 minutes for THAT?” Seriously. I witnessed this yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I love D-land just like the next person, but….c’mon. Just sayin’.
Also, a lot has changed since when I went as a kid. Remember the days when you just parked and walked to the front gate – no biggie? Well, now that Downtown Disney and California Adventure are there, there’s no more normal “old skool” parking lot. Now they have all these off-site lots and a whole shuttle bus scenario to go through so it takes 30+ minutes just to get into and out of the park to your car! Geez, how times have changed.
But, the magic of Mickey and his pals is still alive and well, of course. That will never change which is a good thing. Jay was going to get us season tickets, but then his little Jeep needed some TLC and $800 later, there went our season passes. But, you know what, I’m totally OK with that. I don’t think I want the pressure of a season pass. I want to keep D-land special and “new” and I think an annual trip will do us just fine.
Here are two of my favorite pics of the day.
On the good ‘ol old-fashioned carousel.
They’re right…it really IS the Happiest Place on Earth!
Until next year…
Jay surprised us and is taking the day off on Friday. We’re heading to Mickey Mouse’s House! It’s the first day with the halls decked, the stockings hung, the trees trimmed and the lights strung. I love, love, love Disneyland during the holidays! It’s even MORE magical (if that’s possible).
Last December we had our maiden voyage to D-land as a family. We went on a Friday and it was packed. We only made it on a handful of rides. However, Jay came across a website that tracks attendance patterns and supposedly this is a “good” time to go. Who wants to go to D-land on Friday the 13th? We may be the only ones there. We will let you know!
Our first visit was interesting. We didn’t get into the park until after 2:00p.m. The parking lot was full and we parked off-site and walked into the park as there were no shuttles. We arrived at the front gate, waited in line for tickets and finally made it into the park. It was magical…seeing the expressions on the kids’ faces was, for lack of a better term, priceless. We immediately headed to the newly re-opened It’s a Small World. Eyes wide and dropped jaws the whole ride. It was precious. Elliott and Holden were finally under the Disney spell and it was beautiful.
It got dark and cold quickly. We swiftly forked over $70-something for sweatshirts. Followed by personalized ears and ice cream while we watched the parade. We stayed to the bitter end – midnight. We changed the kids into their jammies and brushed their teeth before we headed home. The following day I felt like I was hit by a train. But of course it was ALL worth it.
This time I’m hoping we end the day at the Happiest Place on Earth with SMILES instead of this:
This is NOT the picture Disney Marketing wants you to see!