Monday, July 30, 2012

Our Colorado Weekend: Pictorial


Miss Medical Student starts her away rotation in Emergency Medicine in Denver today. So, we flew to Denver to spend some time with her. Our dear friend Leslie hosted us. She took us to her sister's cabin in Leadville, Colorado. Do you know it is the highest elevation municipality. 


Remnants of a yearly festival in Leadville. Of course, we were one weekend too early. A Gold Miner stopped and provided me with an explanation of what we were looking at.


Twin Lakes. Near two 14'ers: Mount Elbert and Mount Massive.


The Husband. He spent the weekend fly fishing. He found heaven on earth!


 An old school house in Leadville.


 Leadville is an old mining town. Here is an old mine.


Near Crystal Lake just outside of Leadville. 


Wildflowers.


Our new friends. Chocolate Lab brothers. 


Another furry friend, Simba.


The fourth furry friend we spent the weekend with, Buckey, swimming at Twin Lakes.


 I love Aspen trees!



An old wooden fence. Can you tell from the clouds that we experienced a lot of rain. We also got hailed on twice. Got to see lots of Colorado lightening. Oh yeah, and it got as low as 45 degrees during our three day stay!

An old building along I-70. We spent a lot of time on I-70 due to heavy traffic!


Deadwood at Twin Lakes. Colorado is also experiencing a drought. The water level was way low. 


We spent Friday day in Denver. This is at Sloan's Lake, one of my favorite walking spots. They were preparing for the Dragonboat Festival.


So nice to catch up with good friends. My friend Krista met her true love and moved to Parker Colorado last summer. It was nice to see her and the husband!


Here are my two favorite girls: Leslie and Miss Medical Student.


This young man was our host Friday. We use to work together and I miss him a lot!


Hanging out at Harry's home. The Husband unfortunately either got a little dehydrated, motion sickness, or maybe even a little altitude sickness. Resting and water made it all better!

The Husband and I had a great weekend! Thank you everyone!!

Oh-So-Easy Coconut Tres Leches Cake

What is better than a girls weekend?

Maybe a girls weekend in a far off location with an amazing view?

Or maybe a girls weekend, in a far off location, with an amazing view, and a killer dessert!

I just got home from spending  the weekend in Leadville, Colorado, nestled between two 14'ers (Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive), with a few very important people in my life. We spent time hiking, fishing, shopping, and cooking for each other.

I made this super yummy Coconut Tres Leches Cake for dessert.

This cake is as simple as making a box mix but it taste like it was so much harder than that!


My family loves the taste of coconut but they do not love coconut. So when I found this mix from Duncan Hines I knew I was going to try and make a Tres Leches Cake with it. Unfortunately, the first time I found this mix I was on vacation with my family. I have not been able to find it around my home. Luckily for me, my husband recently brought me home six boxes from a fishing trip!

I prepared the cake by using the directions on the back of the box and in a 9x13 inch pan. {By the way, baking at 10,200 feet is slightly different than at 1,026 feet!}

After the cake cooled, I took a fork and poked a lot of holes into the cake.


Next, I mixed three milks together. I used Sweetened Condensed Milk, Evaporated Milk, and 2% Milk.  My idol, The Pioneer Woman suggests using Whipping Cream as the third milk. While I have no doubt that is divine, I opted for something I had on hand.


In a bowl, mix together the entire can of Sweetened Condensed Milk, the entire can of Evaporated Milk, and then 1/4 cup of milk.  I whisked them together and using a measuring cup, I poured them over the baked cake.


I know you are going to be thinking there is no way you can get that much liquid into the cake but I promise that cake is going to soak it all up! Afterwards, you need to top the cake. If I were making this cake at home, I would whip up some homemade whipped topping but since I was not at home, did not have my stand mixer, and was above 10,200 feet I opted for store bought whipped topping.

I simply spread the thawed whipped topping on top of the cake. I prefer to top the cake with fresh strawberries, but we did not have any of those. The Pioneer Woman suggest Maraschino Cherries, but again, we did not have a bottle of those. So, I used fresh, pitted Bing Cherries. Get creative on those topping. I am thinking next time I might use Mango's!


I promise, this cake will be easy to make and taste like you spent a lot more effort on it!  



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Our Week In Review Through Instagram!

Welcome to my Week in Review!

It has been a busy one, but in reality, when are they not busy?


1. The kids and I have been catching up on our preventative care. In the past week, we have visited The Eye Doctor, The Dentist, and The Orthodontist.
2. The Husband went out of town this past weekend to go fishing. So we went out of town too! We took our friend, Melissa, to my Momma's home on Friday and then we went on to Jamesport. Here is The Short Chic trying on Amish straw hats during our visit to H&M Country Store.
3. The Boy getting in on the fun.
4. Cinnamon Rolls from H&M Bakery.


 5. Saturday after we left Jamesport we went to Plattsburg to attend our nephews birthday party. The party was in the local bowling alley and it was absolutely a fun time! This might be The Short Chics first time bowling.
6. The Boy bowling.
7. Melissa hanging out at the par-tay!
8. The other thing I did this week was tie-dye. A lot of tie-dye! {If you have missed that post, check it out HERE} This photo is of a shirt I made for my sister-in-law.


 Oh yeah, we had a lot of yummy food this weekend!

9. From Pinterest, you can find it pinned on my Get In My Belly board, Quinoa Mac and Cheese. Super yummy!
10. My Husband brought me home a souvenir from his fishing trip. Thankfully, it was not a trout. Instead he brought me home 6 boxes of my favorite cake mix that I can't find here at home!
11. The Boy and I perfected the homemade Mocha Frappe.  My version and my size is only about 115 calories. {check out that post HERE}
12. I taught myself how to whitewash paint this week. I put together a super cool shelving unit and was able to complete my bathroom redo. {that post is HERE}


13. Hmm, isn't that known for being an unlucky number? I hope that is not a bad omen. Anyway, I digress. This is a homemade fly trap. My co-worker and I got the idea from Pinterest. Why do we need a homemade fly trap, you ask? That is a great question!  My work has us training in a hotel that is swarming with flies. We have been swatting away to no avail. So we are trying to take matters into our own hands.  Bad news? If you have this pinned, I am sorry to say we caught absolutely no flies in this trap in our first day of use!

That is it for our week! I hope you all have an enjoyable week! 


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bathroom Redo

I have been redecorating my downstairs bathroom over the past few weeks.  It is a small bathroom, I guess commonly referred to as the guest bath.


 Here is what I did not like about it:

  1. The room felt drab.
  2. The walls are divided. The top is painted and the bottom has some type of paneling.
  3. The top part was painted a flat olive/sage green. {Maybe it was too flat for the small space?}
  4. The bottom part was painted a flat grey.
  5. The light switch, towel bar, electric cover, lamp accessories were all fake gold and silver. {Have I ever told you all that I do not prefer gold?}
  6. The mirror above the sink is a custom made mirror but the frame was gold.      
                                                                                                                               
                                           



The only thing I had hanging on the walls before the remodel was this old framed cross-stitch project I finished in the mid 1990's.

The first thing I did was remove all the fixtures and buy new paint. I went for a semi-gloss paint. I thought we needed a little bit of that shine.

The new color? It is called Bermuda Bay and it comes from Better Homes and Garden.
It makes me happy. Very, very happy.

The grey color had to go also. I painted the bottom half Cotton White, also from Better Homes and Gardens. Also in a semi-gloss. The entire bathroom just shines.


While all the fixtures were off, I spray painted them. Yep. Saved myself some cost and bought a can of $4.00 spray paint. I painted the light fixture, the towel bar, the toilet paper roll, the electric cover, and the light switch. I also taped off the mirror and painted the gold frame around the mirror the same hammered black.

What a huge difference it is already making!

Can you tell from the above photo? I still have silver/gold sink fixtures. They are on my honey-do list for now. We will get around to changing them soon.

I chose to use the color black as an accent color as well at white.  Instead of that old cross-stitch, I purchased some simple black shelves and a few black photo frames.

I found this cute hour glass timer at my favorite home interiors store in Jefferson City, Missouri during my last visit there. The Husband is really uncomfortable with it being behind the bathroom door. He is probably more realistic than I am about our children's behavior.


.

The wall in the above photo use to be empty. I wanted a shelving unit there but I wanted it to be something that was not a shelf but could be used as a shelf. My co-worker and I were shopping at an antique store and found these old card catalog drawers.  She pointed them out, I flipped them, and we both kinda new immediately it was perfect! 

The only problem, they were brown and I needed something white. So, I taught myself how to whitewash {but that my friends, is a future blog post!}.


 It might still need a few trinkets but I am pleased with the look.


The only other thing that I disliked was the size of the petal-stool sink. There really is no room on the sink, not even for a bottle of hand soap. My solution was to put a white serving bowl on the back of the toilet. I purchased this bowl at my Great Aunt and Uncles estate sale last year. I put a few colored hand towels in it and a decorative jar of soap and lotion.

Two people have already given me feedback on my bathroom updo. My husband came out of the bathroom and told me he felt like he was in a hotel. That made me love him a little bit more! Then my good friend, Melissa came to visit last weekend. I had not even mentioned to her I was redoing the bathroom. She walked out and said, "WOW, that room looks so much bigger!" She brought a smile to my face!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Prayer for Miss Medical Student

Tomorrow is a very important day.

Miss Medical Student is taking her Step 2 Clinical Skills Examination. Students who wish to practice medicine in the United States take this test in their final year of medical school.

Please say an extra prayer for her tonight.

My prayer for her:

Dear Lord, please be with Miss Medical Student tonight and tomorrow. Lay your hand on her and guide her to:

Do her best.
To Believe in herself.
To Believe in her knowledge.
To breath when she needs to think it through.
To not second guess herself.
 To Know that she have adequately prepared for this test.
To enter this exam with peace.
To leave this exam with peace.
To Know that while she is far away and "alone" she is never really alone. She is surrounded by love from many. Those she knows and those she has no idea.


Be with her Lord.  Amen.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

My 110 Calorie Treat*

The Boy has a new addiction. It is Frozen Mocha Frappe's from McDonalds. He likes to order the large, which is 22 ounces and has a whopping 680 calories in it. Not to mention they cost me about $4.00 every time he orders one.

So, this weekend, I sought to make my own that he would like.

First, I actually had to buy ice cube trays. {I can hear my Grandmother gasping from heaven. Yep, Grandma, before last Friday, I did not own an ice cube tray!}

I had some coffee concentrate in my fridge from the Toddy, {check out that post}. I poured the coffee concentrate into the ice cube trays and froze them. If you do not have a Toddy, you can just brew very strong coffee and pour into ice cube trays.


 To actually make this treat, use a blender.

I added 1/2 cup of skim milk and 1 Tablespoon Hersey's Chocolate Syrup. After that is blended add 1-2 cubes of coffee concentrate. {If you did not freeze coffee concentrate you might need more coffee cubes. Add them to your taste.}

I then add 1 package of Splendid or Truvia.


The last thing I added was plain old ice cubes {from my ice maker, which is why I did not have ice cube trays!}. They add bulk. And make it all frosty. Just for looks, I drizzled 1 teaspoon of Hershey's Syrup on top.

And I did not tell you the most awesome part. This recipe makes about 12 fl. ounces and has a total of 116 calories. The McDonald's version of the same size has 450 calories. WOW, that is a 334 calorie difference! And points? My version is only 2 Weight Watcher Points Plus Points. 


That makes this cold yummy treat the most perfect pick-me-up on a hot summer day!



After-thought: You can obviously alter this basic recipe to make a larger batch.The Boy is absolutely not concerned with calories. He uses 1 cup of whole milk and a lot of Hershey sryup {and I mean a lot!} I think he adds 3-4 cubes of coffee concentrate. I still think his version has less calorie's than the McDonald's version.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Weight Watchers Weekly Update: Variety

Today is my Weight Watcher's check in.

This has been the hardest week since re-joining the program. I hit a wall. A really large, hard, brick wall.

Variety. It is the key to a successful program. A person on a weight loss journey needs variety. They need variety in their exercise routine and in their diet.  Otherwise, boredom sets in.

I thought I was doing okay. But in honesty, I was not.

This week, I realized I am tired of sandwiches. I am tired of zucchini. I need more variety.

The lack of variety sets one up for failure and I really walked a thin line of crashing all week. I have even eaten a few meals that were not good for me. I compensated for them but still I struggled. 


My naked morning weight on my bathroom scale is the exact same as last week. I do not believe I have gained anything. But I have not lost anything.


I took a break from the scale today...or this week. I needed a mental break. And I need a new eating plan. I need some variety.

I will be back at it next week, in a meeting and on the scale. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tie-Dye Shoes



When I think of summer a few words come to mind: hot, watermelon, pool, fun, friends, ice cream, vacations, smore's.  And tie-dye. Yes, tie-dye. Maybe it is all the summer camp influence but I just can't imagine summer without a tie-dye project.

This project comes from this super cute girl. She is the recipient of my son's affection, which means she is around our house enough to give me a short lesson on how to tie-dye shoes.


The supplies for this project are super easy to find. Wal Mart has Tie-Dye kits in their craft section. They are reasonable, $15.00 for five bottles of dye, refills, gloves, and rubber bands. I also picked up the plain white shoes from Wal Mart and a plain white t-shirt. Total, I spent $20.00 on this project.


 My coach suggested going outside for this project. We took a plastic bag and put our supplies on it, to protect the deck. {That is almost funny because we need a new deck so badly!} Our tie-dye kit came with plastic gloves and I highly suggest using them to protect your hands. My hands are still pink from just mixing the colors and carrying them outside.


  Step 1: The first step is getting the shoes wet. Place them in warm water.  Then start small. It takes very little dye to do the shoes. Because the shoes are wet, the dye will spread. Add a drop and wait to see how far it will spread.

Step 2: Just keep working your way around the shoe. Add a drop. Let it spread. Using the tip of the bottle, help spread the dye around the shoe filling in all the white with color. Remember, work in small, small amounts.

Step 3: Save the tongue of the shoes for last. My coach told me she dyed the first pair of laces but decided it did not look very good, so she recommended leaving the laces white.  The shoes will still be wet and they need to dry. My coach suggested taking the shoes inside to dry because she left her first pair outside in the wind and the wind altered the dye.


After we did the shoes, I quickly did a t-shirt for The Short Chic so she has a shirt to match her shoes.



She thinks she is the coolest kid on the block. {I might agree with her!}

Update: I made these shoes again for some friends. I noticed that my first pair faded a lot in the drying process. For the second pair, instead of submerging the shoes in water to get them wet I used a spray bottle and dampened them. The shoes need to be wet to take the dye but they do not need to be soaked. When the latest pair dried they were much much darker than the first pair I did.

My Week In Instagram and Shutterfly Contest

I have been really bad about blogging this week.

I think I have just been meeting myself coming and going and just have not had time.

Last night, for the first time in four days, the world slowed down for me. I so tried to write last night. Come up with something clever, or sassy, or cute. Instead I got creative and went to bed!

This is my past week in Instagram!


 1. Last week we actually got some rain. The Short Chic woke up and was so excited she could wear her rain coat and boots!
2. A drive to work with rain. FINALLY! Unfortunately, it was not enough, we still need more.
3. I got my nails done on Friday. This one hour makes me feel like a queen.
4. I have been craving BLT sandwiches and finally made my own healthier version of one. HEAVEN!


5. Baseball. Baseball. Baseball. We played in a game Thursday night, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and a double header on Monday. This is The Boy all decked out in his Evoshield. It makes me smile.
6. Me, in the car. I spent the entire weekend in a car. By Sunday, I was thinking about not going to work on Monday just so I could avoid the car. {FYI, I did get up and went to work.}
7. Saturday, The Husband and I traveled to Jefferson City to visit my brother. We stopped at my favorite home decorating store.
8. Our state capital. Beautiful!


9. I am not the only one who spent a lot of time in the car or at baseball games. The Short Chic did also. Princess Aurora PEZ kept her entertained...for a moment or two.
10. Ice cream helps to keep her entertained as well. 
11. By Tuesday evening all I wanted to do was crawl into bed. We have missed each other!
12. Could this be summer love? These two have spent a lot of time together. Even if it is not summer love, it is cute and fun. 


13. And finally...The Short Chic has moved up! She had her Daddy called me to the pool last night so she could show me something. I knew immediately what it was going to be! She has been talking about jumping off the diving board for a week or so. She did so great! I think if I was not so concerned with getting a photo of it, I would have been crying!


I also wanted to take a moment and tell you about a cool contest happening at Facebook.  Shutterfly is hosting a Long Live Summer Photo Contest.  You simply upload your photos to Shutterfly's facebook page http://bit.ly/sweepS .  Each week is a new theme:

  • Week 1(7/9): Americana
  • Week 2 (7/16): Great Outdoors
  • Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun
  • Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations
There are instant prizes, weekly prizes, and a grand prize. Check it out! You might even see some of my photos there!

I hope you are all having a great week!