Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Yummy Eats

Lately I have been loving to cook. I realize it is time consuming and really annoying at times, but I love sharing and/or consuming my finished product. Below are some yummy treats I have made in the last week.
These are bite sized s'mores. Everyone loves a s'more and these are just like the campfire favorite but without a campfire. They are pretty simple to make too! This is what they looked like before I dipped them in the chocolate to finish.
Ingredients for s'mores: graham crackers, butter, powdered sugar, hershey bars, marshmellows, and chocolate almond bark. The hardest part of the recipe: getting the little things out of the muffin tin.

These are bite sized peanut butter brownies. The first time I made these I used Gharadelli chocolate brownie mix. It was delicious but it was so moist and very hard to remove from the muffin tin. This time I used regular fudge brownie mix. You just fill these little brownies with soft creamy peanut butter and dropped a few chocolate and peanut butter chips on top. Yum.
Ingredients for brownies: brownie mix, oil, egg, peanut butter, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips.

The finish products:
These treats were a HUGE hit at Tom's family Thanksgiving dinner. I felt like Betty Crocker :)

On Friday night I made sushi at home with Lara. It was nothing special but so yummy for something I generally reserve for a meal out. We made sushi rolls with cream cheese, tuna filet, and avocado. Incredibly yummy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Naples Recruiting Trip

Organizers of tournaments and conventions aren't stupid. They always schedule these big events in locations where anyone would want to visit. The past three work trips I have taken have been to Southern Florida. Last weekend I went to the largest college recruiting trip of the year. I decided it would be fun to take Tom along this time. We have been anxiously awaiting this trip for quite some time and were so excited to see 80 degrees and sun in the forecast. We left early Thursday morning in order to arrive by noon.
Looking good on the plane :)
After we arrived, we picked up our rental car and checked into our hotel. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and walked to the beach. It was a beautiful afternoon. We spent a couple hours out there before heading back to the same restaurant for a little happy hour.
The Shady Palm Pub was a couple doors down from our hotel with a good happy hour menu and a patio. Couldn't ask for anything more on a beautiful November night in Southern Florida.

Tom showing off his Oregon brew for our friends in Portland
The next day we woke up to cloudier skies. It was raining a bit too. Just when I was about to get disappointed Tom suggested we drive about an hour to visit the Florida Everglades. Despite all of my time spent in Southern Florida I had never made this trip. When we arrived in Everglades City the skies had cleared a bit. First we took a look at this baby gator and then we waited for our airboat ride. It was beautiful there, but I had no idea what to expect.
We finally got on the airboat and went for a ride. This is the other airboat out on the water.
We got a glimpse of "yawny" gator.
We rode around for awhile then went into the mangrove trees.
It provided a narrow waterway for us to pass through. I absolutely loved it!
So gorgeous and a surprise around every corner.

The trees occasionally opened back up into a larger area.
One time we found a gator swimming around in there.
A couple pictures on the boat.

I am so happy Tom suggested a day in the Everglades. It made the rain much less disappointing and was a fun experience. When we returned we went to the outlet mall and then watched some games at the lacrosse tournament.

The next day we woke up to beautiful sunny skies. We packed a cooler and headed to the beach.
It was a perfect beach day mixed with clouds and sun.
We even saw a stingray swimming around.

After a morning on the beach I went to watch some more lacrosse games. It was a great weekend mixed with work and fun. We had a wonderful little tropical getaway. Perfect lead in to the holiday season that is upon us!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trip to Ste Genevieve

This past weekend Tom and I decided to go to Ste Genevieve and spend some time with my sister, Stephanie, her husband and their sweet boys. It's such a quick and easy drive and we were so looking forward to more one on one time with the boys. We arrived Saturday morning and hung out for a while before heading to the Crown Valley Brewery. We had a groupon so we had some lunch, a couple drinks, and bought a growler to take home for the evening. It was fun to just hang out and watch some college football.
Tom and I at the brewery
When we left the brewery we called my sister to wake Dane from his nap so we could go hiking at Hawn State Park. Tom and I went backpacking in the park about a month ago and really enjoyed the trail. I thought Dane would love it since he loves being outside. He totally did. He ran down the trails, jumped off logs and threw rocks into the water. He had a smile on his face the whole time. Below are some pictures from our adventure on the trail in Hawn State Park.

Tom and Dane starting their hike

Dave and Dane take a break during the hike

Dane was along for the ride

Getting ready to throw a rock into the water
Finishing the hike. Dane ran out saying "I see Daddy's truck!"
That night we hung hung out at home with everyone. We made some pizza and relaxed.
Me with baby Reese
Sweet Baby Reese
In the am... hanging out with my sweet boys
What a great visit! It was fun not having to share the boys with any other aunts and uncles.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Girls on the Run

This weekend I had a great time with some of my favorite little people. The weekend started with panini sandwiches and Kinect with Tom's sisters, brother in law, and nephew, Connor. Connor was as cute as ever.
Saturday morning I woke up early to run the Girls on the Run 5K with Delaney. Delaney is my niece who is in fourth grade. The running program promotes positive self esteem and character development. Each semester the program culminates with a 5K at Forest Park. I was excited to run with Delaney and loved watched the thousands of little girls out on the race course. It really was a motivating and fun morning.
Me and Delaney before the race
The Girls on the Run group from Delaney's school
Delaney at the start line
Delaney tackling a large hill
Delaney and her mom running together
Me and Delaney after the race
Sweet Claire came to cheer Delaney on
What a fun morning! I was so proud of her and had a blast running with her.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

I had so much fun on Halloween this year. I was able to see most of the kids in costume and spend some time trick or treating with them. I wore a little costume of my own just to keep things interesting. They were just old enough to get it and it was so fun to watch them race door to door. For some reason I loaded the pictures in backwards order so it goes from the end of the night to the beginning...

Dane and I went over to see Tom's sister's and her son, Connor. The two are absolutely adorable together. They will be walking down the aisle together at our wedding next year.
Dane was so excited he ran from door to door!
When we got home he and Claire immediately started digging through their candy.
All the cousins waiting at the door.
Big and Little brother
Me and some of my favorite kiddos
Dane, the little monkey
Claire was a sweet little witch
One more shot of everyone in costume
What a great Halloween, but we really missed Joe. He was definitely the cutest duck I've ever seen.