Thursday, April 26, 2012

Awesome Giveaway! - 40 toes

It's your last week to enter the awesome April giveaway hosted by 40 Toes Photography! Jennifer has gotten together a really fabulous giveaway that you should definitely be keeping an eye on and enter to win! We have donated a rockin' pair of our Lane leggings in Rasberry Stripe, as well as a couple of hairbows!
You can find all the details and enter to win here!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Pasta Puttanesca

For What's Cookin' Wednesday today, we have for you one of my new favorites. I seriously love most everything the Pioneer Woman comes up with, but this one is really exceptional. My Mom told me she made it and it was so good that she had to hide the leftovers from my Dad! So, I decided to give it a try!
Ingredients: 8 ounces spaghetti 2 Tbsp Olive Oil 1/2 whole red onion 1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved 3/4 cups chicken broth or white wine 2 cloves garlic 4 whole anchovy filets 1/2 cups heaping assorted pitted olives 12 whole basil leaves 4 ounces good parmesan cheese Cook pasta until al dente (firm to the bite).
Mash (in order) garlic, anchovies, and olives using a mortar and pestle, or chop them finely together. Set aside.
Using a fork, crumble the parmesan cheese. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced red onions and cook until slightly carmelized.
Add halved tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes.
Pour in broth or wine and cook for another two minutes, then pour in garlic/anchovy/olive mixture. Stir and continue cooking for several minutes, or until sauce is nice and reduced. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain pasta and add to the skillet. Add the crumbled Parmesan and toss to coat pasta in the sauce. Tear basil leaves and sprinkle over the top. Serve right out of the skillet.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Homemade Butter

Our next adventure into at-home Spring Break activities was making our own butter! This was something that was rediculously easy to do! All you need is a small jar with a lid (we used a baby food jar), a marble (although I read online that you don't really need the marble), and some heavy whipping cream (and a dash of salt).
My girls had so much fun doing this! We poured some cream into the jar, no measuring required, just filled it up a little over halfway, sprinkle in a little salt too. Put the lid on nice and securely.
Shake some more. I had the most fun watching my girls do this because they couldn't seem to shake the jar without actually jumping up and down at the same time!
We shook the jar until you couldn't hear the marble really rattling around anymore. Then we removed the lid and looked in. It wasn't quite butter yet, more like whipped cream. So, we replaced the lid and shook some more. Then, we opened and checked and it looked like butter. However, you do need to pour off the liquid (whey).
Make some toast, spread on your homemade butter and enjoy. You will not believe how much better it tastes!
If you want an even yummier version, put in a little honey when you pour in the cream. Outstanding!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Big Bubble Solution

We needed a few different Spring Break activities that we could do at home, so I scoured the internet (okay, I browsed briefly) and found a bubble solution that we actually had the ingredients for on hand. We gave it a try.
Mixing it up was easy.
Then, we went to the garage to search for bubble wands and discovered that they didn't survive past last summer. So, pulled out some floral wire I had in my "craft crap" drawer and made our own!
It wasn't too bad at first, but we found it was even better the next day!
If you'd like the recipe:
12 cups of water
 1 cup dish soap
 1 cup cornstarch
 2 tbsp baking powder

 In a clean bucket or dishpan mix together ingredients in order. Keep a ladle or scoop in the bucket and stir occasionally making sure not to cause too much foam. Remove the excess foam as it appears. When the bucket is half empty add another cup of water.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Break - Day Four!

Our last morning in Las Vegas!
We started off at the pool, then returned to our room to pack up.
Before heading out of town, we decided to have lunch. We had such success using the Yelp website to find a great breakfast place, we decided to use it again to help us find some good Vietnamese food.
We scored once again, and we all some really fantastic Pho at Pho Siagon 8 in Chinatown. Who knew Las Vegas had a Chinatown?

Olivia loved it!

Chris had the traditional Pho, a delicious noodle soup dish.

I had the same thing I always have when I go to a Pho restaurant. It is a noodle salad type dish with chicken and peanuts, and vegetables, with a fish sauce. It is really fantastic!

Georgia loves it!

Sophia loves it - that is proof that Pho is excellent!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

This is Retail - Vote for The Polka Dot Press

A few years ago, I met Kim Williams, of The Polka Dot Press. The Polka Dot Press has for the past few years, one of my go-to places for the cutest stationery! I have bought notepads, note cards, and really cute Valentines for my girls to give to their classmates - popcorn wrappers!

I am posting today to ask you to help out Kim, by voting for her online. Easy, right? Definitely easy, but it will really mean a lot to her! As a matter of fact, it could mean $25,000 for her to build her business!
Kim is a finalist in a contest sponsored by the National Retail Federation, called "This is Retail". Kim created a video and her business and video have made it to the Top 10!

You can vote for her 10 times a day! So, just click here -
It will help her "connect the dots" and inch closer to winning that grand prize!
To show her love and appreciation for your vote, today only, she is offering you a 40% off discount to her website - The Polka Dot Press!
First, go vote! Then go visit The Polka Dot Press and take advantage of that discount by entering SFV40 at checkout!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Break - Day Three!

On Day Three of our Spring Break trip to Las Vegas, we started the day by leaving the hotel in our car, in search of a really good, local breakfast place. We found a really outstanding place called Babystacks. Take a look at these Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup. Yep, they were every bit as good as they look!

After breakfast, we headed out of town, out to the Hoover Dam.

On our way, we saw twin Ferraris. I mean, how often do you see a Ferrari on the road? Much less, two of them, following each other? Only in Vegas!

We took the original road and drove over the dam itself.

It's a long way down.

Look - Arizona!

Look - Nevada!

Chris bought us tickets for the Visitor's Center and Power Plant Tour. I am still amazed at how well the girls did during that thrilling adventure (HA!)

Like Father, like daughter with the brochures. Especially entertaining considering the kid cannot read!

How cool is the design they created in the Terrazo tile? This is in the power plant part of the dam. I love architecture where attention to detail is evident absolutely everywhere!

It is truly a marvel of engineering.

A view of the new bridge from the Visitor's Center.

We can never resist a trip to the gift shop!

I love being married to someone who makes me laugh!

After the Hoover Dam, we took a slow cruise down the strip, so the girls could see all of the hotels!
Look - it's Elvis! and his twin!

The Little Church of the West.

After the strip, we scouted out a Coldstone Creamery Ice Cream store for some well deserved ice cream!