Saturday, November 27, 2010

La Habra Children’s Museum

We went down to LA this year for Thanksgiving and visited the La Habra Children’s Museum for the first time with Cooper. What a hit! I was kind of bummed we didn’t get a year membership even though we don’t live in the area. We would’ve made our money for sure over the course of a year. Oh well.

So…here are the highlights of the children’s museum.

Highlight #1: DinosaursIMG_3451 What toddler boy doesn’t love dinosaurs? They have fun statues outside the museum, as well as a “digging for bones” exhibit inside.IMG_3484 Highlight #2: Gas Pump & CarIMG_3454 Educational to boot…each pump explains the different methods of “fueling” a car and how effective they are.

Highlight #3: Mini CarouselIMG_3481 They run every half hour. But the kids can sit on them anytime.

Highlight #4: BusIMG_3457 IMG_3461 You know, for those of us that don’t live in a place where public transportation is used regularly.

Highlight #5: Shopping AreaIMG_3464 IMG_3468 My poor husband cringes at the thought of Cooper doing anything remotely “emasculating”, but the boy does love a good kitchen area!

Highlight #6: Trains/CabooseIMG_3472 Okay, I have to be honest about this one…while trains are some of my son’s favorites right now, the trains on display at this museum can only run for one minute every 10 minutes. Umm..yeah, not so fun for a 2 year old. And you can only enter the full size caboose outside every hour or so when they offer tours. But, still a highlight nonetheless.

Highlight #7: Exploration Encouraged!

They obviously have far more than what I have listed, but this last one lumps some of the last few pictures I have together. The first few pictures are in the “theater” room where there is a stage, a sound booth, and dress up clothes to fulfill your heart’s desires! Cooper LOVED the sound booth and couldn’t resist a *ahem* special helmet? heheIMG_3488 IMG_3490 The last pictures are just other fun areas Cooper enjoyed himself.IMG_3483 IMG_3477 Milking his first cow…I’m sorry, does it get much funnier than this? Hilarious!! Over all, I would recommend a visit. Cooper had a blast!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipe Blog Hop

Welcome to my first Blog Hop! If you’d like to start at the beginning of the “hop”, jump on over to Creative 2x Mom, otherwise, welcome and read on! As per the description of my blog, I didn’t really get into cooking until shortly after I got married, about 7 years ago. I’ve come a LONG way since then. (Have I mentioned that I didn’t even know what a clove of garlic looked like? Yikes!)
Anyhow, I’ve got two of our family’s regular recipes we have at Thanksgiving. I’ve cooked for about 2-3 Thanksgivings since getting married, and enjoy making nearly everything from scratch except for two things: GRAVY and PUMPKIN PIE. Gravy…just too much work it seems, and pumpkin pie, sooo cheap and still delish from Costco, am I right? So, here are the two “must-haves” that our family enjoys:

 Smooth Cranberry Sauce
1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Directions: Rinse berries under cold water. Mix sugar and water in a saucepan and stir, put on high heat until it comes to a boil. Add berries, stir, then bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the berries start to pop. You can actually hear them pop!
Here comes the absolutely necessary part in my book! To get it to taste like my Grandma Betty’s cranberry sauce.
Pour the cooked berries into a colander or strainer. Make sure you scrape EVERYTHING out of the saucepan. Press all the berries through the colander. Start with a spatula, but don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty in the end, and DON’T forget to scrape the ooey gooey goodness from the bottom of the colander or strainer!! Let it chill in the fridge for an hour or more so it will set. The consistency is delicious! Sorry I don’t have a picture, perhaps I’ll add one after Thanksgiving. But, here’s a similar looking picture and a Thanksgiving picture of my family and I 2 Thanksgivings ago (see the red stuff on our plates?).Thanksgiving 08 clip_image001

Broccoli Salad
1 large head of broccoli
1/2 red onion
1 lb. bacon
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
Direction: Wash and cut broccoli into bite-sized florets (I just buy the broccoli pieces from Costco, you still have to cut them smaller, but it saves time). Cut stems into bite-sized pieces (or discard). Dice red onion. Fry and drain bacon, chop into small pieces (You can also save time on this step by buying the bacon crumbles that come in the bag. No frying necessary!). Combine all ingredients with dressing. Marinate in refrigerator several hours before serving. Toss occasionally and before serving.
Hope you enjoy these recipes and have a fabulous Thanksgiving! Hop on over to Juella Designs for 2 more side dishes!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkey Finger Puppets

IMG_3435 I found this adorable idea on Frog Prince Paperie. The picture above is the finger puppet I actually made myself. Remember, I want all things I post to be tried and tested. All the instructions are detailed here: Thanksgiving Turkey Finger Puppets, so I won’t bore you with the specifics. All I will say is…I am NOT a seamstress, and these were very simple. And my son adores it! He carried it around with him everywhere for the first few days. It’s all hand stitched and really, honestly, did not take a lot of time. The only thing detailed in the linked blog that I couldn’t quite pull off (remember, I’m NOT a seamstress), was an “invisible stitch” when attaching the yellow to the orange. So, you can see some of the stitches from behind. But, it didn’t bother me in the least, and certainly didn’t bother little Cooper! =) This was the only picture I could get with him holding it…the boy doesn’t stay still, particularly when playing with a new, fun play thing! Happy Thanksgiving! Have fun celebrating.IMG_3434

Monday, November 1, 2010


IMG_3368 We carved pumpkins for the first time this year with Cooper. He was excited about pumpkins especially after reading the adorable book Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White. It’s about a little old lady who despises pumpkins, and ends up with an entire field of them growing in her yard. She turns them into all sorts of pumpkin culinary treats, then carves the rest to attract people to her home. When everyone arrives to check out the jack-o-lanterns, she serves the treats and has so much fun she changes her mind about her dislike for pumpkins.

When we go down to it, however, he had a different tune. He was VERY interested….in watching. IMG_3352 When we asked him if he wanted to help clean out the pumpkin? This was his facial expression, gotta love it!IMG_3354 We bought a pumpkin carving kit that had templates in it this year, so I decided to give one a go (plus, Cooper LOVES owls, how could I not try it?) Here we are marking the template.IMG_3365 And here was the final outcome, not bad for my first time venturing out of the old original jack-o-lantern face.IMG_3386 Of course, we did a normal jack-o-lantern, too!IMG_3388 We met up with some friends and neighbors to go door to door. Boy..did they have a blast!! IMG_3370 IMG_3371 IMG_3372 And…the loot!IMG_3378Double fisting…=)IMG_3381  Happy Halloween! =P