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Cards and Baking and Meatloaf

I finally finished the Father's day cards, better late than never.  I think they turned out really cute.  Addison's swim meet was cancelled because of the storm so I had some extra time.  Addison made cards for his Dad, Papa and Grandfather.  I only made 10 for Family and Friends but it was nice being creative again.  I haven't made cards in a month, which is funny since I thought I was going to have all this time this summer.  I need to finish the Sympathy cards I am making for Dave's family.  I have decided to try to make about 10 different sympathy cards and give them to friends so they can send them to Dave's mother.  Everyone wants to send her a card but I realize people get busy to stop and pick up a card and then mail it.  I thought if I made them to give out it would make everyone's life a little easier.

Here are the Father's Day cards I made:

The background has the definition of a Hero.

I also baked a Summer Strawberry Cake Tuesday.  It was so good I think I'm going to bake another one today.  It was simple to bake and it really made the strawberries delicious.  JT and Addison made French Toast today and they are trying to steal the strawberries that are for the cake.  I guess I might have to go buy more strawberries.  Publix has a great sale on them right now.  So I guess I should just buy a bunch and make all things strawberries.  I haven't made Strawberry Ice Cream in a while.  Yummy!!!

Tonight, Addison got 1st place at his Dive Meet and tomorrow night is BLACK BELT time.  I can't believe my little boy is becoming a little man.  He will be a 1st degree Black Belt.  Can you believe it?  I promise to post pictures of his accomplishment.  I took him 5 years.  They say only 3% end up becoming Black Belts.  WOW!!!

Tonight, I made Meatloaf.  This was a dinner for my husband.  He is a Meat and Potatoes Man.  He loves when I cook French or Asian Cuisine.  But, he needs to have a Burly Man's meal at least once a week.  He was so happy when he was helping me fix it.  This Meatloaf is a heart attack waiting to happen.  2 pounds of ground beef top with a whole package of bacon.   Ridiculous!!!  This will feed us Friday and Saturday.  I found a recipe for Rustic French Meatloaf from Gourmet magazine.  This one uses Chicken Livers, Veal, Pork, and Prunes.  I'll try to make it next week to see which one taste better.   I'm guessing I will love the French one and JT and Addison will love the simple American Meatloaf.


Heart Attack!!

Well, Good bye for now.

My new Obsession

Hello again!  I'm back.  I needed some time with family and everything is good.  While I was away I started a new obsession and it's couponing.  Damn you Extreme Couponing!  :)  I have not gotten crazy like the ones on that show and we will not start hoarding.  I am just clipping coupons for things we use.  I could never be extreme because it takes a lot of time and we eat somewhat healthy.  I usually buy our meat, fruit, and vegetables at Whole Foods and if I do buy them at Publix it is usually organic.  So we don't eat frozen meals, canned vegetables, frozen vegetables, and food out of most boxes.   But we do eat cereal and Addison eats a lot of cereal and we use a lot of toiletries.   I have started clipping coupons on laundry detergent, dish soap, hand soap, body wash , toothpaste, paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and cereal.  I got a great deal at Staples because they had a $3 off coupon and their Bounty paper towels were on sale for $4.99.  That's $1.99 for paper towels!

I will try to let you know what I have saved in the days ahead.  Like I said I wont be able to be so extreme like getting stuff for free but saving  $3 to $5 here and there is great for us.  A little adds up to a lot and I can use that extra money on card making supplies.  :)

Speaking of card making I will be finishing my Father's Day cards.  I wanted to make them last week but too much happened.

Today, we had a great day of cooking and baking.  Haven spent the whole day with Addison and I and we baked Powder Puffs.   It's nice to have a girl in the house.

 For dinner I made Crostini with Mozzarella and Tomatoes and then Pepperoni Pizza.

It was an Italian night.  Wait the Powder Puffs were a French recipe.  Oh as you noticed I have tabs on top that go to extra pages.  I thought this would be a nice way to organize all my stuff.   I will be posting on the recipes page recipes I have tried and loved.

Well see you later.

Friends = Family

So it has been a sad week, we found out one of our good friends passed away.  It was unexpected and shocking.  It reminded us that friendships take work.  You need to always call or stop by just to check on someone.  My friends are my family and I am very fortunate to have great friends.  We all get busy and forget about people.   We make excuses that we will call someone back later.  We get so disconnected and get caught up in other stuff.  I have made a promise to myself I will never get like that again.

Dave Zuhlke was a wonderful, caring man.  He made us laugh and taught us things.  We saw the world with him.  I had my baby shower at his house.  He was by my side when Addison came into this world.  He gave Addison his first Versace jackets.  Dave took Addison and I to Hawaii (this is a trip I will never forget).  Addison had his 7th and 10th birthday party at Dave's house.  Dave was like an Uncle to Addison.  No he was Addison's uncle and he was a wonderful Uncle to Addison.  He did all these wonderful things for us and more.  He treated us like family and he will always be a part of our lives forever.  We will never forget him.  We will continue to tell great stories about him and talk about the great adventures we had with him.  He will never be forgotten.

So please call up a friend you have been meaning to call to just check on them and tell them you love them.  Never get too busy.


How is everyone?  I am great!  I think it's funny that I thought I was going to have so much time off this summer to bake, cook, and write in my blog when I have less time now than I did while I was in school.  Why is that?  I guess when Addison and I are not in school there's more stuff to do.

Friday night,  Addison was the chef and I was his sous chef.  He made Beouf en Croute and it turned out delicious.  And I finally made Dulce de Leche so we had it for dessert with strawberries.  We made so much food that we ended up eating it again for Saturday dinner.

Here are some pics of the chef and his masterpiece:

Addison and I decided to  stay in the house Saturday to finish laundry.  Before we left for Asheville last weekend the laundry room was getting out of hand and then after unpacking it was crazy.  Every time I opened the laundry room door I wanted to cry.  But now we can see the laundry room floor thanks to Addison.  I am so fortunate that he's a great helper.  So all we did Saturday was clean and play video games all day while JT went to visit his dad.    It was just to hot to go to the farm so we spent the day in air conditioning.  I also think Addison just wanted a relaxing day since last week was so hectic for him.

Sunday, we saw the new X-Men movie and we loved it.  It is now my favorite X-Men movie so far.  The story line was good, the acting was great, the special effects were awesome and it wasn't cheesy.  I know a lot of comic nerds are not happy with Hollywood making every comic into a movie.  Hollywood usually does a bad job with it but I feel they are trying harder and I'm loving it.  After the movie, Addison had his second diving meet and he did very well.  I am impressed with all his learned in a year. I hope he keeps up with diving, I think he's really good at it.  I guess we will have to see, he tells me he's better at swimming.  :)

Here's a video of his diving meet:

Oh, Addison did great at his Black Belt Endurance test.  It was 2.5 hours long and it was extreme.  They had to do so many kick, crunches, jumping jacks, and push ups.  I've never seen him sweat so much.   I can't believe what a great athlete he is, he didn't get it from me.  I swear he's an alien.  :)

This week I really need to work on Father's Day cards and I need to make some new cards for my Etsy site.  I also need to make those Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cupcakes.  I made two cans of Dulce de Leche and I don't want it to go to waste.  As  promised I will try to bake all the recipes in all my cookbooks.  It's going slower than I thought but I'm still working on it.   I've noticed I have been focusing on the WS and Sugarbaby cookbooks so this week I will bake something out of one of my two BAKED cookbooks.   I have already made the Burnt Sugar Bundt cake, the Sweet and Salty Brownies, and the Grasshopper bars.   I'll let you know what moves me.  I will flip through the cookbooks while I watch the Cooking Channel,  that usually works.  I have been wanting to make the Green Tea cupcakes but I have been saving them for someone birthday.  Does anyone have a birthday coming up?

Well, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my day.  Vieng and I are going to see Bridesmaids tonight and I'm so excited.  I'll let you guys know how it was.

Memorial Weekend is gone back to reality

How was your Memorial Day weekend?  We had an incredible one.  We decided to drive to Asheville, NC to visit our cousins (Nate and Rachael).  They live on the most beautiful land.  Their backyard looks like it should be in a romantic movie or a book.    Here's some pictures of part of their back yard which is the playground.  Incredible, I love how the trees just surround it.

It was so wonderful to just relax, hang out with the family, and enjoy nature.  We even got to take the dogs, so the whole Cochran family (including Kevin, he's a honorary Cochran)  got to play. The boys had blast running around playing of the rope swing, making a fire.  We got there Saturday evening and they had friends over for pizza and drinks.  Everyone got to make homemade pizzas and then they were baked in the green egg on a pizza stone.  They were all very yummy and the company was awesome.  Sunday. we had waffles, bacon, and grits for breakfast.  This is a big deal since Rachael is a vegetarian.  She's such a sweet hostess to feed us meat.  :)  After breakfast, Nate took all of us on a 2 hour hike around the mountains and river.  It was beautiful.  The kids and the men swam in the river, but it was just way to cold for me.  I put my feet in but that was enough since I'm allergic to the cold.  Here's some pictures of them playing in the river:

To see more picture of our Asheville adventure check them out here.  

We left Sunday night since their kids had school the next day and we had baseball tickest for Monday.  Monday, we went to the Braves game and it was hot!  We had seats practically on the the field but it was in the outfield in the hot scorching sun.  It was 95 degrees and it's not even officially summer yet.  Vieng and I had to take breaks from the sun and hangout in the shade.  We enjoyed walking around the stadium and people watching.  Addison and JT stayed in their seats for the whole game.  I couldn't believe they could stay in the sun that long.   The Braves ended up losing, which was sad because the game was tied in the 9th inning.  After the game, we went to Six Feet Under for dinner.  We haven't been there for a year and I forgot how much I loved it.  After dinner, we went home to rest and I still feel like I need to rest and it's Wednesday.  

Here's some action pictures of the game:

So after a wonderful 3 day weekend it's back to reality, Addison's 9:00 AM diving practices have begun and then 10:30 AM swimming practice.  Tuesday was crazy because he also has normal diving lessons and Taekwondo at night.  I don't know how he does it.  4 activities in one day, he's one fit kid (or just plain crazy).  Tonight, Addison has his written exam and then his fitness test for his Black Belt.  Only 2 more weeks and Addison will be a Black Belt in Taekwondo!!!  I can't believe it.  

So because of last weekend and us trying to get use to the new schedule, I have hardly cooked and have even thought about baking.  I know so sad.  Hopefully, I will be back in the swing of things soon.  I'm thinking off starting back by making Dulce de Leche (milk candy).  I have been wanting to make it for a while.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  Since it takes forever to make I think I'm just going to make the condensed milk version, which still takes about 4 hours.  I know once it's made Addison will want to dip strawberries and bananas in it so I need to make enough to bake with too.  My Sugarbaby cookbook has a Dulce de Leche cupcake recipe that I think would be good to try.  

Well, I hope everyone is doing well.  As you have noticed I am still loving my camera.  Bye for now.