Saturday, February 28, 2009

A little late

This is a little late, but I wanted to give a shout out to my mother-in-law, Iwalani. Her birthday was on the 26th. I've got to say it, I lucked out in the mother-in-law department. She is a pretty awesome lady. Aside from being a wonderful mom, she works and goes to school full time! And I'll tell you, she is at the top in all of those areas. Happy Belated Birthday Iwalani, thanks for being a great mom to Chad and I and a wonderful grandma to our boys. We can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks!

Boo ya!

Chad is pretty much the coolest. Yesterday I called him at work and out of the blue he said, well, today after work I'm going to go get you a SLR camera. I thought he was joking, but nope he was serious. He has known I have wanted one for awhile and here's what he said, "Well, I got my bonus and you work hard and deserve it." Pretty sweet huh. We ended up ordering it online because price wise it made sense, so it should be here in a week or so. Without further ado, may I present the canon rebel xsi :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cloud 9

Devan had a dream come true last weekend. We went to "train extravaganza". It's a train fair where tons and tons of toy train venders come and set up booths. There were a lot of model train tracks set up from lionel to a disney set up. Their was of course a Thomas and train set up. But the most amazing thing, in Devan's eyes, was the Thomas train ride they had going. We had pumped Devan up for it for a couple of days asking him if he wanted to ride on the "real Thomas the train. This is a fun age where he can understand what we are going to do, and get excited about it.

When we got into downtown where it was held, I told Chad I needed to find an ATM to get money for parking. We thought we would just go to the nearest gas station, which was about 1 mile away. Well, 1 mile ends up being quite far in downtown, and it took us to a scary part of town. Once we got to the gas station, it was closed. Not that we would have gone in anyway though because it was quite scary looking! So we thought ok, we'll go to the nearest Valero, we thought that way it would be a nicer station. We drove for a couple more minutes and the GPS said we were there. I looked at Chad and said, "Is that really it?" It was a tiny building, with 1 gas pump, it was covered in bars (like a pawn shop), there was a little window to pay for whatever, but the people up by the window, didn't look like they were buying gasoline. I'm guessing they had a little side business going on. So we got the heck out of there quick. I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier, but I told Chad, "let's just find a bank." Soon after we found a Wells Fargo ATM, but it was still scary. I pulled up to it and started taking out money when I heard voices behind me. I freaked out and accidently hit a button, and ended up pulling out $300 instead of $40! And then we got the heck out of there.

Despite our little gas station adventure, we really had a good time. I'm glad we don't live downtown, but it's nice to be able to get there in less than a half hour. By the time we got home it was nice to be safe and sound in Helotes!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Big Fat Liar

OK, sorry guys, that picture was just wishful thinking. I photoshopped us into it. So, go ahead, you can call me a big fat liar. I really wish I had a fun trip to be blogging about, but nothing to exciting has been happening our way. We've mostly been home because we've had a few bugs passing around.

It's kind of been nice to slow down for awhile and not have a lot to do. Devan's been working on potty training. Some days he does great and others are a disaster, but he has been making progress. He's getting pretty good at identifying alphabet letters. Tristan is walking really good now and goes further every day without falling. These last couple days he's looked more and more like a toddler and not a baby anymore.

With all the bugs going around I haven't been able to workout for the last 2 weeks, but I'm thinking I'll start back up again today. It's so hard to start after taking a break! I'm also going to go back on the fat resistance diet. If any of you are looking for a diet I really suggest this one. It's very healthy and doesn't take out calories your body needs. About a year after I had Devan, I went on this. I had gained a lot of weight with Devan and when I had my body fat checked it was at a whopping 26% Well, after about 2 months of being on this diet, I had my body fat checked again and it was at 19%! I have to add I was working out also for around an hour 5 days a week. Something else about it I found amazing was usually when you loose weight you loose some muscle along with body fat, but I had lost pure fat, no muscle! Anyway, I'm a firm believer in this diet. I will never again go on one of those, starve yourself and turn your body to moosh diets!

Enough about that though. Yesterday, I put ant killer over our lawn because I found a big mound. That's one thing I really hate about Texas. The ants are just terrible, and ant bites are horrible. I'm hoping this will get rid of them! I'm hoping once I get rid of them I'll be able to do a little bit of landscaping in our yard, but we'll see. There's always so many things I want to do with the house, and then I remember it all takes $$$, and usually to much of it! I really want to put in a patio in the back, but realistically that won't happen until at least next year. It's so fun to be in a house though and be able to work on projects like this. I can't believe that we'll have been here a year on February 28!

Oh one other thing, I inherited Chad's Itouch because he got an Iphone for Valentine's Day. Anyway, Devan really like some of the little games on it and I was helping him play it yesterday. He took it away from me, as if to say Mom I can do it myself, exited the application we were in, and said I want the fishes and went into that application. If you haven't used the Itouch before, just to put this into perspective, it's a whole different technology and it took me awhile to get use to how the buttons click and going from screen to screen, but here was Devan doing it all easy! Anyway, I was in shock and amazement. I called Chad and he couldn't believe it. He was even more amazed when he watched Devan do it himself. I guess he's going to be a computer whiz like his daddy!

Here's some more photoshop I've been doing lately.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

An awesome day at the beach.

We had an awesome time at the beach...more photos to come.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


So I told Chad, rather than eating out for Valentine's, I'd rather us make pizza together with my new tools! I found an authentic Italian pizza recipe online and went at it. It was a pretty simple recipe, but sooooo good. I'm usually not all that impressed by my cooking, but I can honestly say this was the best pizza I've ever ate! So again, thank you thank you thank you for the awesome gift Chad. Oh and for those of you who have a pizza stone, here's the recipe. I think the real trick in it is to use fewer ingredients, but to make sure they are high quality ingredients. I LOVE the fresh mozzarella and bazil. I was surprised at how yummy the sauce was as just chopped up plum tomatoes. Oh and the crust was perfect, thin, crispy, and chewy. MMM mmmmm...

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita with Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Basil
This is the pizza that has made Naples famous the world over. It was first baked in 1889 in honor of the visiting Queen of Italy, Margherita, and topped with ingredients that recalled the colors of Italy's flag: red tomatoes; green basil; and white Mozzarella.
For the dough:
3 and 1/4 cups bread flour, plus extra for the counter
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
extra-virgin olive oil for greasing the bowl
For the topping:
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup canned chopped Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (optional--in Naples they don't use garlic)
3/4 pound fresh Mozzarella, grated (fresh buffalo's milk Mozzarella is traditional in Naples; slice it if using)
16 basil leaves
Make the dough: Mix the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. With the motor running, add enough warm (110°F) water (about 1 and 1/4 cups) to make a soft dough that rides the blade.
Process for 45 seconds. Add a little water if the dough is dry or a little flour if it is sticky.
Lightly oil a bowl, place the dough in it, shape into a ball and wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 1 hour. (Or allow to rise in the refrigerator until doubled, about 4 hours; when you are ready to shape the dough, return it to room temperature before cutting it and shaping it.)
Meanwhile, preheat the oven with a baking stone in it to 550°F.
Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Shape into 4 balls on a lightly floured counter. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes (this allows the gluten to relax, making stretching easier). Using a rolling pin (or your hands for a lighter texture), roll into 10-inch circles; the edges should be slightly higher than the center.
Top the pizza: Place 1 circle on a generously floured baking peel. Working quickly from this point forward so the dough does not stick to the baking peel (if it sticks you will have a lot of trouble transfering it to the baking stone) rub with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Spoon on 1/4 cup of the tomatoes and spread gently with the back of a spoon (pressing will make the dough stick to the peel). Season with a pinch the salt.
Top with one quarter of the Mozzarella and 4 basil leaves.
Stretch into an 11-inch circle with your hands, being careful not to tear the dough as you do so.
Transfer the pizza directly to the baking stone and bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, or until the crust is crisp and the mozzarella is bubbling. Continue in the same manner with the remaining ingredients and serve each pizza as it emerges from the oven. Makes four 11-inch pizzas

Here are some pizza tips from the same site.
Five Essential Pizza Facts
High Oven Temperature Preheat your oven at the highest possible temperature with a baking stone in it for at least 30 minutes before baking pizza; baking stones emulate brick burning ovens by drawing out moisture from the pizza crust. Traditional wood-burning (or coal-burning) pizza ovens heat up to 950°F, which ensures that pizzas bake quickly (in 2 or 3 minutes maximum) and emerge light and crispy rather than heavy and dry. A home oven can usually reach 550°F, which will bake a pizza to a crispy, crunchy, lightly brown in 5 minutes or less--provided you are using a baking stone, which you can buy at Sur La Table or King Arthur Flour
Great Flour Use a top-quality flour--I like King Arthur Sir Lancelot High Gluten Flour, which you can order at King Arthur Flour
Little Yeast Use little yeast in your dough (I use 1 teaspoon of instant yeast per 3 and 1/2 cups of flour) and let it rise slowly; don't add a lot of yeast, as most recipes call for, or the dough will be fluffy and soft and will taste distinctly yeasty. Check my recipe for dough above
San Marzano Tomatoes Buy genuine canned Italian plum tomatoes--San Marzano are the best. In Italy, we don't cook the tomatoes before adding them to our pizzas, yielding pizzas that taste fresh and vibrant
Go Light on the Toppings Exercise restraint when creating toppings: in Italy, we use one or two toppings per pizza, if any (aside from tomatoes and cheese)--the result is that each ingredient brings its own personality to the pizza without fighting the other ingredients. Also, the more you load your pizza with toppings, the heavier it will be, making the crust soggy rather than crisp

I think tonight I'll try my hand with focaccia :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Vote for Tristan!

Hi Everyone,

Tristan's picture made it as a finalist in this blog contest. Now I need your help in getting votes for him! You can vote for Tristan here He is #3 under the name Canny Lanny.

Thanks a bunch and Happy Valentine's Day!


Chad and I are both very impatient about gifts. It's not that we don't like surprising eachother, because we love it, but we both get so excited to give our gifts to eachother that we rarely can hold out until the actual holiday. That being said, we exchanged our Valentine gifts February 13. Chad maybe gave me the all time coolest present ever. I really enjoy making homemade pizza, and Chad loves it. He usually gets me to make it about once a week. I've tried and tried to perfect my dough, but something just hasn't been right. Well, until now....Chad got me a pizza stone and a pizza peel. I'm so excited to see how my pizza will turn out now! Oh and I love making homemade bread too, so it will be great for that. Thanks for the awesome and so very thoughtful present, Chad. You are the abolute best. Happy Valentine's Day