Good times with good friends.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Our family is really enjoying Joey having Sundays off.  We're doing things that we haven't been able to do in a very long time, like hang out with friends!

We had the best time Sunday evening having dinner and hanging out with our dear friends, the Diazes.


We made s'mores - and Taylor charred another marshmallow.


Then the adults played 3 rousing games of corn hole...



... while the kids climbed the tree to search for duck eggs.  Yes, a duck laid eggs in their tree!!


AND! Ashton agreed to take a rare picture with me and Neri.


All of this fun was just too much for Joey, so he passed out on the couch.


Goodness I love that handsome man!

We had such a fun night and are so blessed to have met Neri & Osman and the kids.  And now that Joey has a normal day off, we plan on having a lot more fun in the near future!

Me time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I don't get a lot of "me" time.  I love spending time with Joey and the kids, or hanging out with friends, so I'm rarely alone.  And truthfully, I don't need a lot of "me" time.  But Friday, some "me" time was sort of forced on me, and let me tell you, I took full advantage!

The kids were spending the night at my parents and Joey was at work, so I was looking forward to not doing much of anything.  I tried to finish up my weekend chores on Thursday so I wouldn't have that looming over me and I would truly just be able to relax.

And relax I did!

I came home from work to a nice, quiet house and poured myself a glass of wine.


I went back and forth between wanting to just grab some take-out so I wouldn't have to cook or going home and cooking something I really loved.  Ultimately I decided to cook one of my favorite meals, Skinny Taste's Cilantro Lime Tilapia Tacos.  And I was not disappointed.


I took my wine and tacos and settled in on the couch to catch up on my DVR.  Dallas, actually.

Evidently Trigger was looking forward to a quiet evening at home as well.


I didn't let him rest for too long, though.  After dinner we headed out for a nice walk around the neighborhood before calling it a night.

A glorious night.

There may be something to be said for this "me" time stuff.


Stephanie cooks: Chocolate Lava Cake

Friday, June 22, 2012

I promised you the recipe for that yummy cake that Ashton made on Father's Day, so I'm here to deliver!

There's one tiny catch, though.  You'll need this to make it.  (It's the Pampered Chef Rice Cooker Plus.  And it's totally worth the money to be able to make this amazing dessert when you're short on time, I promise!)

Chocolate Lava Cake

What you need:


How you make it:

  1. Mix cake mix and all ingredients from box in the rice cooker until smooth.
  2. Empty complete can of icing into the middle of the cake batter.  DO NOT STIR.
  3. Place rice cooker in the microwave (no lid) and cook for 7 minutes.
  4. Let stand in microwave for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Remove rice cooker from microwave and cover with plate large enough to hold the icing that will run off the cake.
  6. Flip upside down so the cake is now on the plate. (No need to spray the rice cooker with cooking spray.  It's non-stick and the cake will slide right out!)
  7. Serve hot.

So yeah, could this be any easier??  Cake mix, ingredients you probably already have - eggs, oil, water, etc. - and icing.  Super easy, and super yummy!!

Don't stir the icing into the cake batter!  This is what makes the "lava"!

What it looks like out of the microwave. 

And after you flip it!  Yum-mo!!


Happy baking!


Annual Cousins Trip.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

This week was my cousins annual "girls and kids" trip to San Antonio.  They've been coming to SA for 5 years now and we always look forward to spending time with them.  The kids have so much fun playing and my 2 cousins and I have a great time relaxing and soaking up the sun.

It's definitely a highlight of every summer!  And it's really fun to look back through my blog and see how the kids have grown over the last 5 years - and the babies that have been added!

*This is where I insert the obligatory photo overload warning.  Consider yourself warned.*

We always start the day at the lazy river - and spend most of the day in that very same spot.  The kids seem to never tire of floating around and around.


This year we did take a break, though, for the kids to get inked up.



(I really wish that lady wasn't in my picture.  I'm sure she wishes the same.)

After a long afternoon of soaking up the sun, we moved the party to the volleyball court.  Please love this action shot of my 7 year old cousin!


After a little volleyball (and tether ball, bad mitten, and ping pong), we headed up to the hotel room to figure out dinner.  Of course, when you put 7 kids in a hotel room - even if it is a suite - they will only last so long.


Ha ha.  Totally kidding.  Taylor and Brady were play fighting and it was too funny!  They kept saying, "don't really hit me!"  And the other would say, "Ok, I'll try!"  Luckily no one was injured in the taking of this picture.

We had a new addition to the crew last September so this was the first cousins trip for baby Maddox.  Ashton absolutely loves babies, so she couldn't keep her hands off!  He's such a sweet boy!



After dinner it was time for s'mores - the kids favorite time of day!  By the time I got to the fire pit, Taylor had already caught a marshmallow on fire.  And he was quite proud of it!

(Can you even see it?  It's at the top of that stick. LOL)


(Camryn - Lauren's oldest)

After s'mores, the hotel always shows a movie on the lawn.  We grab blankets and popcorn and settle in for the evening.

Ha!  Who am I kidding?  The kids don't last but maybe 20 minutes before they're bored and looking for something else to do.  It's a nice thought though.

(cousins 2012 - Brady, Taylor, Ashton, Maddox, Derek, Berkley, and Camryn)

Ashton helped feed Maddox his last bottle, but he was a little distracted by all the cousins, the movie, and the popcorn.


I'm so grateful for the time I get to spend with my cousins.  We don't see each other often - sometimes only once a year - but it always seems like no time has passed.




The perfect Saturday.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Saturday was one of those perfect days.  You know the kind.  The kind where you don't clean or fold or put away anything?  The kind where you only do the things you want to do?

Yep.  That kind.

It started off with a late wake-up call.  I just love to sleep in!  But I also love coffee, so I met my momma for some coffee and we chatted a bit.


I schooled on her on a couple new iPhone apps (well, new to her!) and then we headed to get pedicures.  Of course, I don't have a picture of our pretty toes, but I do have a picture of our pretty faces! :)


After our pedicures we went our separate ways.  I went back home and crawled back in bed with Joey for a few minutes before he woke up.  It was glorious.

My good friend Neri had a hot date with her husband, so her kids came to stay with us.  It was way too hot so we made our way to the pool where I proceeded to do this:


Again, it was glorious.  And hot.

Did I mention it was hot?

The kids definitely had the better idea and played for hours in the pool.


And you better believe there was no cooking on this "perfect Saturday", so we picked up pizza on our way home from the pool and spent the rest of the evening chilling in front of the TV.

Yep, it was pretty darn perfect!


Father's Day 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

I was so happy to have Joey home yesterday to celebrate Father's Day!  We started the day with presents and cards from the kids (and me!).

This was Taylor's card to Joey.  (Explanation - Ashton started calling our dog "Puppis" a while back.  Now we just add "is" to the end of people's names to be silly.)  Envelope reads: Daddis or Puppis; Most likely for Daddis.  (Ashton and I died laughing when we saw this.  Taylor did it all on his own.)


Taylor pulled himself away from his video game long enough to watch Joey open his card.  It was potty humor and absolutely perfect. LOL


Ashton made Joey the sweetest card, in which she thanked him for "putting up with her".  Ha ha.  At least she understands!  (And please note how beautiful my girl is.  I'm really gonna need her to stop growing up.)


The kids and I got Joey some new workout clothes for Father's Day.  I stepped way out on a limb doing this because it's extremely rare that I pick out anything that doesn't eventually get returned, but I think I may have gotten lucky this time!


After cards and presents, we went to his moms to celebrate with her and Joey's grandpa.  Then we made the rounds to my parents house where we enjoyed a little pool time, then mom and I made homemade pizza for everyone.

Had to snag a pic with the father of my children :)


And of course my own daddy!


After pizza, Ashton made a chocolate lava cake.  It is so yummy and you make it in the microwave (in 7 minutes!)!!  (Recipe to follow later this week.)


Overall we had a nice Father's Day.  I always enjoy spending time with my dad and I was so happy to have Joey home to enjoy Father's Day as well.  I'm really liking this "Sundays off" gig!!


Spring Basketball - Way to go Longhorns!

Friday, June 15, 2012


Taylor's Spring basketball season ended last weekend and last night we had their party.  I volunteered Ashton to make the cupcakes because I knew she wouldn't mind. :)


This was her first time to make fondant and I think she did an amazing job!  Those are some professional looking cupcakes, no?

We had the party at local hamburger joint that has a large outdoor play area.  The boys started off the evening much like they started every practice - with races!


Later in the evening, the outdoor play took a turn for the worse when Taylor nearly lost a tooth in his teammate's forehead.  It wasn't pretty, but luckily no one needed stitches.


The coaches worked hard to come up with individual trophies that commended the kids for the different efforts they made throughout the season.  Taylor was super stoked to receive the Leader Award!


The entire team (minus one of our star players) will be playing together again in the Summer league, which is just terrible because they don't have any fun together.

(No, the little girl on the far right was not on the team, but we've dubbed her our team mascot.  She's the sister of the girl in blue, who is an AMAZING player!  She may not look like much, but watch out!)


Stephanie cooks: Asian-Glazed Salmon

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ashton has been doing a LOT of the cooking in our house lately, so I might need to change these titles, but for the sake of consistency, I'll keep it this way for now.

But just to give credit where credit is due, Ashton made this salmon!  We sampled it at HEB when we were shopping last weekend and it was so good we knew we had to try it.

Asian-Glazed Salmon

What you need: 

  • 4 (6 oz.) fresh Salmon fillets 
  • sea salt and coarse ground black pepper 


Glaze:

  • 4 tsp. Dijon-style mustard 
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce 
  • 1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic in oil 


How you make it: 

  1. Heat oven to 425°F. 
  2. Whisk glaze ingredients together in a small bowl until blended. 
  3. Place fillets in baking dish and drizzle half glaze over salmon. 
  4. Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Place salmon in oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until done (fillets are just beginning to flake when tested with a fork). 
  6. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes; salmon will continue to cook during this time. 
  7. Drizzle remaining glaze over salmon and serve while hot.


This was so dang good and so quick and easy I couldn't believe it!  Everyone loved it!

One note, we didn't add the remaining glaze after the salmon was cooked.  We thought there was enough and didn't want to overdo it, and I'm glad we didn't.  I think half the glaze was the perfect amount.


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THE Stephanie
I’m Stephanie - wife to one extremely handsome cop; mother to two extremely silly kids. The hubs and I have been married since February ’99. I love him more each day and simply can’t get enough of him. My daughter, Ashton, is 12 going on 17. She’s beautiful, creative, smart, and oh, so sassy. Taylor, our son, is 8 and is so much like his daddy it’s scary. He makes me laugh all the time with the silly things he says and does. He won’t remember what you told him 5 minutes from now, just like his daddy. I love to laugh and spend time with friends and family. I’ve also recently discovered a love for cooking and enjoy sharing recipes. I love finding new blog friends, so be sure to leave a comment so I can do the same!
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