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Monday, February 27, 2012

Augusta Half Marathon

The past couple of weeks (especially the weekends) have been quite full. But definitely one of the highlights is my husband running the Augusta Half Marathon yesterday. Unfortunately (fortunately, maybe?), Dean finished sooner than we anticipated so Nathaniel and I didn't see him at the finish line!


Dean finished at the top half of his age group and 300-something out of 1100+ runners. I don't have the exact specifics but I hope to update this once he comes home from work today.



And then we went to grab greasy, fattening burgers for lunch afterwards, which seems to be becoming a marathon tradition. When Dean ran the Big Sur International Marathon last May, we went to Phat Burger in Monterey, CA. I am not a burger fan but I could eat their Mushroom-Swiss burger every week.

 The boys fighting over chocolate milk


Linking up to: 
Communal Global: Tuesdays Around the World

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Recipe: Triple Decker Strawberry Cake

We had a very lovely, low key Valentine's Day dinner at our house as a family. We ate a home-cooked meal, rented two Redbox movies, and enjoyed this very sweet dessert. Ever since I saw this cover recipe on Southern Living last September (but it is an older magazine), it has been on my mind and I knew I just had to make it. It's easy to make and I love that it incorporates real strawberries both inside the cake and with the icing. But like I said, this cake is sweet. Very sweet. I have sweet teeth and yet I still had to scrape off most of the strawberry buttercream.

I love how the frosting turns into this lovely pink because of the fresh strawberries!

Adapted from Southern Living


Ingredients:
  • Cake
    • 1 (18.25 oz) package white cake mix
    • 1 (3 oz) package strawberry-flavored gelatin mix
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  •  Strawberry Buttercream
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 1 (32 oz) package powdered sugar, sifted
    • 1 cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped
  • Extra strawberries for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. In a large bowl, combine all of the cake ingredients and beat until incorporated.

Equally divide batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake for 23 minutes or until toothpick test comes clean. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove cakes from pans and completely cool on a wire rack, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine all of the buttercream ingredients. Beat until fluffy. If icing is too thin, add more powdered powdered sugar. If icing is too thick, add more finely chopped strawberries.

Spread the strawberry buttercream between layers and throughout the cooled cake. Garnish with whole and sliced strawberries. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tea Collection Feature & Giveaway! CLOSED

I found out about Tea Collection over the holidays and I have been in love with their clothing ever since. Their collection of boy clothes go beyond the typical boring plain shirts and pants. It is because for inspiration behind their collection, they travel to different destinations around the world. And they just released this season's collection. They went to Bali!

I purchased the Modern Mexico inspired Holiday collection (3 tops, 2 pants) last December and Nathaniel receives plenty of compliments every time he wears Tea Collection. He loves the animals prints and the quality is superb. They have been worn and wash many, many times and yet they still look brand new. And as you can see from the following photos, he has no problem being his typical always-on-the-go self. They really are very comfortable!

And Tea Collection is not only a children's clothing! They also have women's collection and I am personally drooling over this Batik Floral Top.

So now on to the awesome giveaway!






Tea Collection is generously offering one (1) of my readers a $100 gift certificate to be used at TeaCollection.com!

So how can you win? Follow my blog through Google Friend Connect. And then just simply leave a comment below and tell me what you will buy from Tea Collection if you win.

For extra entries: You can blog, tweet, and/or mention this giveaway on Facebook. That's 3 extra entries! Just make sure to leave a comment for each entry and include the link below.

Giveaway ends on February 29, 2012 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be chosen using random.org and announced the next day.

And most importantly, be sure I have your email address so I have a way to notify you. Good luck!

Note: I was provided with product for the purpose of conducting this review and promotion. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.


Linking up to:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Life As Is

My relationship with the military remains to be love-hate. For example, what are we doing living in Georgia when all the Super Bowl festivities are going on in our hometown? But then opportunities like last Saturday happens and I am so thankful we are a military family.

 

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting Hannah (at Life As Is) and her adorable little boy in person. I have been following her blog for more than two years now and "witness" little Aiden grow up from when he was still in his mommy's tummy to now when he is about to turn two years old.


We got together at a beautiful little town of Greensboro, GA where I also took Aiden's two year old pictures. He's a typical toddler where you have to run to keep up with him but we all know I have plenty of practice from my own little toddler. And with those be-a-uuuuu-ti-ful blue eyes? I'll gladly chase him all day.


And Hannah is also as lovely as she seems in her blog. I forgot to snap a picture of all of us but thankfully, I know for sure this wouldn't be the last time our family will get together. We are attending Aiden's two year old birthday party in a few weeks and we already have plans to visit a few places in GA and go berry picking! I know it sounds cheesy but I truly believe this is the beginning of beautiful real-life friendship.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Recipe: Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef)

I love that both my husband and our little two year old boy are adventurous in the kitchen because I am able to try recipes like this. It was so easy to prepare and we all enjoyed this Vietnamese dish. However, I will warn you that if you do not like oyster or fish sauce, you will not enjoy this recipe. It tasted very fishy. I marinated the beef overnight so maybe cutting it down to 1-2 hours may help lessen the fishy flavor.



Adapted from SkinnyTaste.com

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
  • Marinade
    • 1 1/2 lbs beef top sirloin, cut into 1″ cubes
    • 5 cloves crushed garlic
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
    • 1 tbsp fish sauce
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Dipping sauce
    • juice of 1 lime
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

Combine garlic, oyster sauce, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil with the beef. Marinate steak at least one hour or overnight for best results.

Heat a large wok or large pan over high heat and when very hot add 1/2 tbsp oil. When oil begins to smoke, add an even layer of beef and allow to sear for about 2 minutes before “shaking” to sear the opposite sides, about another 1-2 minute more. Repeat this with the second batch of meat using the remainder of the oil.

Make dipping sauce by combining lime juice, salt and pepper. Serve meal with rice or salad for a low carb dinner.

Linking up to:

33 Shades of Green: Tasty Tuesday

Monday, February 6, 2012

Crocodile-Bird

A few days ago, during our morning reading time, Nathaniel pointed to the crocodile and kept saying, "Bird!" I corrected him but he kept insisting it was a bird. Then he moved his tiny little finger and sure enough, he was right. Do not question this two year old's ability to name animals. He knows his animals.

Do you see the bird?


Linking up to:

Smiling Sally: Blue Monday 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"I pi-yette!"

Nathaniel is really fascinated with pirates right now. He likes to pretend he is one and can often be found in our house with one eye covered and chasing our dog while screaming, "Arrgh! I pi-yette!"

To combine his new found interest with pirates and love for books, I borrowed plenty of pirate books at the library. If it is even possible, Nathaniel now enjoys bedtime story with his Dada even more.



He is yelling "pi-yette" while reading one of the books. And yes, he is wearing Christmas pajamas :) He has outgrown most of his pajamas and this was on clearance. Why past a great deal, right? Also, you can see his "hurt" on his right wrist. He tripped while we were doing yard work this past weekend.


And here he is during breakfast: He covered his eye with a spoon and said, "I pi-yette!"


He is such a silly boy :)

Linking up to:
Supermon: Wordish Wednesday 
The Paper Mama: Wordless{ish} Wednesday
and then, she {snapped}: Wordless Wednesday
Project Alicia: Wordless Wednesday
live and love...out loud: Wordful Wednesday
NapTime MomTog: Wordless Wednesday
 
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