Monday, April 30, 2018

Spice Racks and Shock Mounts

I tackled a couple projects this weekend.  Our pantry is huge, but very poorly organized.  all of my spices have been in a plastic bin I have to pull out every time I need a single spice.  I decided to fashion some spice racks to install on the doors so I picked up some 1 x 3 pine boards and some small screen molding.  I took some basic measurements and assembled them with my air nailer.  I will probably put a coat of paint or varnish on them at some point and I still need to finish an additional small one for the top cabinet.  I already love having all of them accessible and I have a spot for my foil, plastic wrap, wax and parchment paper.  It was a very simple project that just took an afternoon and about $30.
 We headed out to the country so my dad could help with the other weekend project.  We started with a twister rider before lunch, then started once the kids laid down.
 The passengers side rear shock mount broke on our Madza 3.  The Driver's side was replaced a while ago and they are notoriously faulty, so it was only a matter of time.
 The hardest part was loosening the nut that secures the shock on the bottom.  Once my dad got that off it was pretty smooth sailing.
We had the last one replaced at Midas, not really knowing what the job entailed.  I talked with a coworker who has a Mazda 3 and she mentioned it was pretty easy to replace on your own.  The part was only $30, so we saved a ton in labor.  Should be ready to roll for a while now!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Havana Nights Work Party

My work hosted their annual employee appreciation party on Saturday.  This year's theme was Havana Nights!  There were flowers in hair, on shirts, and everywhere.
 We had a great spread of Cuban cuisine including: Cuban salad, tostones (twice fried plantains), black beans, corn with cojita cheese, ropa vieja (shredded beef and veggies and the national dish of Cuba), and citrus marinated pork.
Dessert was just as impressive with a flourless chocolate tort, flan, dulce de leche, and arroz con leche (rice pudding.)
 A salsa band and dance teacher kept us entertained all night long.  I didn't win any fun prizes this year, but we had a blast!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Snowmageddon 2018

Of course the biggest snow of the year had to come the weekend of Esme's birthday.  Her birthday went off without a hitch, but we did have to clear a LOT of snow.  The final tally in our neck of the woods from Friday to Monday was 16" and most of that was from noon on Saturday.  Here is a before and after from the first time I cleared snow.
It got less blizzardy on Sunday, so we took advantage of the chance to go out and play in so much snow.
I had to clear a path to the slide, but Esme made it up the ladder on her own, snow gear and all.
The cozy coupe couldn't get far, but they still fought over it.
Jimmy took the lead and pulled both kids around on the sled.  We couldn't find his snow pants, so the sexy gray sweatpants had to suffice.
This much snow will take a while to melt, but it was fun while we had it.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Make Way for Esme's Moana Birthday

Despite Queen Elsa's best efforts we were able to sneak in Esme's Moana birthday party before the Snomageddon got REALLY bad. You'll hear more about that in another post.  I've mentioned how much Esme loves Moana, so it seemed like the logical choice for her birthday party.
 I hung her blanket from the window and picked up some cheap luau decorations to brighten things up.
We had "Pua" pineapple pulled pork and "Hei Hei" pulled chicken with chips, baked beans, and fruit skewers.
 I also had a build your own snack mix bar.  the bags were decorated to look like Kakamora, coconut armored pirates.  The snack options were white caps (popcorn), cannon balls (malted milk balls), dried pineapple, banana chips, and gummy sharks.
 The cake was two layers, vanilla on the bottom, chocolate on top.  It was decorated to look like a waterfall and covered with Pirouline wafer cookies that kind of look like tree trunks.
 I made some cupcakes with the remaining batter.  Vanilla ones with a Te Fiti theme and chocolate ones that were "shiny" like Tamatoa's shell.  You'll notice the "80" cupcake made especially for our dear friend, Chuck, who dedicated Esme at church and shares her birthday.
 She was a little unsure when we started singing "Happy Birthday", but perked up when it came to presents.
 She got some new clothes, a pig stuffed animal, and a couple dolls.
 Her new Skechers shoes were the big hit!  She wanted to put them on right away and got mad when I tried to take them off.
 Everyone made it home safe and we had a great day celebrating Esme!  Happy birthday baby bear, we love you so much!