Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Texture Tuesday

 I decided to use the Phoebe texture with vivid light. Really liked the funky look for this delicious beverage. 


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Stuffed Eight Ball Zucchini

Not sure about you, but usually I think of cocaine when I hear the term "eight ball". Not sure if it is just the non profit industry I have worked in or too many crime investigation shows. I found these little eight ball zucchini's at our local farmer's market this past weekend. They were $1 each. This is what I used to make this meal:
2 zucchini's
2 tomatoes
1 Cup of Brown Rice
1 1/2 Cup of mozarella cheese
1 package of sausage
1 Tblsp of Italian seasoning
olive oil to saute the tomatoes and squash 
Core the zucchini and save for later. Steam the zucchini for approx. 20 min. While you are steaming your zucchini, you can start to boil your rice.
 Saute your zucchini guts (took out the seeds) and your tomatoes.
After you have sauteed your vegetables, add your sausage, and your cooked rice. Once everything has cooked, add your cheese and save a small amount for the top.
Once everything has cooked, stuff your zucchini with your mixture. Add some shredded cheese to the top. Bake at 425 degrees for approx. 25 minutes.
Voila! Enjoy. Our family ratings (1-10): Ben= 8.5, Annie= 100 (can you tell she is a people pleaser?), and Max= 5

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Heart Faces Challenge- White

I love this photo of my mother and nanny. I am not sure what my mother said to my nanny to have her laughing so hard, but I will cherish this photo forever. It is raw, and I love it! For more great "white" photos, check out I Heart Faces. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Royal Gorge Train Ride- CO

I thought it would be fun to take a train ride through the Royal Gorge. The trip took a couple of hours and basically you go down the track, pause, and return the same route. We brought along dominoes to entertain the children, and I think they enjoyed the game more than the ride. Oh well, live and learn. It was a fun experience, but not really feeling the need to repeat.

There are different seating options on the train, and we chose the glass dome car. There are also a couple of open cars, where you can go out and visit while the train is in motion. The Royal Gorge is definitely a tourist attraction. You can fly in a helicopter, bungee jump, ride a cable car, drive over the bridge, and/or walk over the bridge. So much to do, and it is really an amazing site!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rocky Mountain Park- CO

While staying in Estes Park, we took a day trip driving through Rocky Mountain National Park. It really was a lot of fun, what a week to go from temperatures in the 100's when we left Texas to snow in July. Wow!

While at the top, you see a wall of snow and a fantastic gift shop. Annie's highlight of the day trip. The children enjoyed some hot chocolate and a cookie while looking out at the elk high on the mountain.

When we started our trip up the mountain we passed an older gentleman riding his bicycle up the winding rode. We would pull off at a stopping point, take some pictures, get back on the road and pass this same man. This must have happened 4 or 5 times. It became a little funny to us. After we left the gift shop and started our decent to the other side of the mountain (where the moose are), we passed this same man coming to the gift shop. Impressive! Not sure I could do that ride now or ever! 

One of my favorite things on this trip is that I could see my children's love for photography start to blossom. Both children shared Ben's camera, and Annie even took some photos with my Nikon. Hoping they grow up to see the beauty in things as well!

We played a little game in the car (to keep the children entertained) where if you found an animal that we could take a picture of and it was the first time we saw the animal, then you received $1. A black bear pays $2, which we never saw. It is very important when you play this game that you have the rule of "being able to take a picture of the animal". You would be surprised at how many animals are "there" until you turn around to look. Some rare animals as well. Like elephants in the Rocky Mtns!

Max decided to take it to the next level, by pulling two loose teeth out so the tooth fairy would give him some money. The tooth fairy had a hard time finding our cabin, so she had to leave the money with the manager at the camp store. His face beamed when she gave him the tooth fairy money. It was sweet! He is highly motivated by $$, and we were returning to Jellystone where they have a great camp store which sells glow sticks. As you can see below, we saw a lot of animals and both children earned a couple of dollars to spend. 

Ben took most of the pics of the animals below. You should have seen him going out into the field to be one with the animals. Max went with him a couple of times, and he was more impressed with the size of scat that comes from an elk. Ben looked like he should be employed by National Geographic. It was hysterical! 

We had a great day and it was nice to return to Estes Park for one last night.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Heart Faces Challenge- Water

I would like to introduce Shark Boy! Ta-Dah! Too bad you can't see the fin hands and feet on this child. Max loves this set and he chooses to wear it often. This boy loves to swim and the name is fitting! He loves to terrorize his sister with this head gear.

Shrimp Salad Sandwich & Apple Pie

I saw this recipe pop up from Paula Deen on Facebook this morning, and I thought that it sounded great with it being so hot outside. Here is her recipe with ingredients for Shrimp Salad Sandwich.

1. You will need at least 1 lb. of peeled and deveined shrimp. I like to call them divine shrimp.

2. Take off the tail and put them in the blender.

3. What do you get? Mush! Shrimp Mush.

4. Add hard boil eggs to the mixture. I used 5 for our family.

5. Add minced celery.

6. Add 1/2 Cup of Mayo.
Shrimp Mush Awaits. I added a couple of tablespoons of Sewell's Seasoning, which I use to make the best guacamole ever. This was the only seasoning I added to this mush. I chilled ours while I prepared our side item and toasted our buns.

July 4th in Estes Park, CO

We received great recommendations from our camp director at Jellystone Park on where the best place to see the fireworks over Estes Park, CO. We parked on the side of the highway leaving town so we could make a quick get-a-way when the show was over. I held our spot on a small hill starting around 6 PM, while Ben took the children to a park approx. 1/2 mile away to play until 8PM. I met a lot of really neat families. Such nice people. They brought extra sparklers and small-time fireworks for all of the children on this hilltop, which they did not know. It was such a nice sense of generosity and citizen bonding time. Go Independence Day! Ben and I have never been out of the state of Texas for the July 4th celebration before. I have to admit that I was a little sad, but this experience was so nice that it added a new July 4th memory. It was so nice to watch fireworks and need a blanket. Usually we are hot, sweaty, and possibly fighting off bugs. I would take this view and experience over that~ I will say there were some huge mosquitoes, but they were gone when it cooled off around 8: 30 PM.
My heart was full of love when I saw this elderly couple park join the gang on the hill. The lady was too feeble to walk up the hill, so the husband carried her while a stranger grabbed the chairs and set them up. Honestly, a tear started to form. I was so impressed by this couple for still getting out and driving to see fireworks. I haven't had my grandparents both alive on either side in a really long time. It made me think of how my grandparents would respond on this holiday if either grandfather was still alive. Beautiful moment! And, I had to capture it from behind without them knowing about it.
This last photo was taken from our cabin on 7-3-11. The camp director had mentioned that there was a stream of lights coming out of Estes Park into the mountains after the fireworks. We sat out on our front porch of Cindy cabin #3 that night and watched the children play. We happened to notice the amount of cars coming out of town and decided to take a shot lowering the shutter speed. We ended up with this beautiful photo. I love sharing the joy of vacations and photography with my husband. What a great Independence Day weekend! Memories that will last a lifetime!