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Category: Family (page 1 of 2)

social sugar cookies

my daughter just celebrated her 13th birthday and i wanted to make some special cookies for her party. i was thinking sugar cookies because they seem easy enough, but i also wanted to make them a little more tailored to her social generation, so i started with the idea of making instagram logo sugar cookies. she’s always on instagram by the way. of course, pinterest would have lots of good stuff on this topic so i found 2 really good recipes, one for the sugar cookie dough, and one for the frosting.

first, the dough. this recipe is really good.
http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/2011/06/basic-sugar-cookie-recipe-2/
it’s easy to make, and i made it all without a mixer (i’m a man and don’t own a mixer, lol). i just whisked it all together. i went with 1tsp of almond extract and 1tsp of vanilla extract for the flavoring. on my test batch, i used 2tsp of almond extract and the kids said it was too much.

i was able to use the top of a tea can (square can) to cut out the cookies for the instagram cookies. with it being square, i also decided to make facebook cookies too. my daughter also loves pinterest so i made some round cookies for that as well.

now, the icing. this icing is so delicious.
http://canterburybee.blogspot.com/2011/04/secret-to-decorating-cookies.html
the cream cheese totally makes this. just basic food coloring to get my colors (brown, blue, red, and the original white).

the square cookies cooling…

square sugar cookiesfor the instagram cookies, i used a mini oreo for the lens part

mini oreo

without going into too many details, i mixed the colors and used a plastic bottle for the white icing, for drawing the “f” and “p”. the other icing was just spread on with a plastic knife.

when it was all said and done, here’s the final product, instagram, facebook, and pinterest sugar cookies!

instagram facebook pinterest sugar cookiesi cut some tootsie rolls for the little eye viewer part of the instagram cookie. i also found some sour rainbow looking things at the dollar store which worked perfectly as well.

my mom also made some delicious cupcakes and a custom nail polish cake! i’ve watched her bake and make cakes for over 30 years now, she’s still got it!

cupcakesnail polish cake

bumps in the road

i’ve so neglected my blog…but it’s ok. it’s more of reminder of the journey i am on…a journey that includes running and diet. but no journey is complete without a few bumps in the road. recently, i’ve had a few.

bump #1 – my first kidney stone. yes, i found out towards the end of july i have a 1-2mm kidney stone on my left side. it kind of explains a lot. that pain on my lower left side wasn’t my back as i had thought. i had herniated a disk on that side many years ago and it is always problematic, so i just assumed i was having back problems. after pissing a little blood and a few doctors visits, which included a CT scan, it was confirmed i have a stone. since it’s really small, not too much to worry about, just need to make changes in my diet to avoid the formation of more stones, and drink plenty of water, which is easy because i already drink a lot of water.

bump #2 – gallstones. with my family history (on my mom’s side), the doctor ordered a gall bladder ultrasound just to ‘check things out’. turns out i have gallstones too! luckily, i’ve never had any pain at all regarding this. the surgeon said he’d remove it whenever i’d like, but since i have never had an issue, i’m going to wait. for now, more changes to the diet and some foods to avoid.

minor bump – blood sugar is a little high. no surprise there, the damn family has lots of diabetics. but on a good note, my cholesterol levels are friggin great! gotta avoid the sugars from here on out.

so i feel like i can run for a few miles, and feel awesome, but can’t out run my genetics 🙂

with all this going on, i’ve begun to follow (loosely) a new diet, a low oxalate diet. i didn’t pee out any stones, but my guess, and the odds are, that the kidney stones are oxalate formed, hence the low oxalate diet. no more nuts, beans, chocolate, and other high oxalate foods. but as i said, it’s been loosely followed to ‘ease’ my way into it. there’s lots of great resources for this diet and some great recipes as well. once i get a little more into it, i’ll share a few recipes and favorite sites.

this may have hindered my running for awhile, but i’m back at it and enjoying this fall running weather! ttfn!

the graffiti run – fresno, california

the graffiti runthe daughter and i had a blast!

it’s almost christmas time!

thankfully i’m done with shopping, yippee!! i did most of my shopping online. my reward: bank of america informing me yesterday that my card was jacked and used to make a purchase in cincinatti, ohio. friggin great. now my card is cancelled and i have to make in-bank withdrawals while i await my new card. inconvenience for sure.

aside from that, this is a great time. at work, we have received so many ‘goodies’ from other departments. i’m trying to limit myself on the sweets, but that’s like 90% of what we receive! i did get an itunes gift card, totally cool for an IT / techie / nerd / geek like me 🙂

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off-topic but i’ve been addicted to soy lattes as of late. i tried one for the very first time last week and it’s now my new “usual”.

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so, christmas parties this weekend, potlucks, and gift exchanges are flooding my calendar but it’s all good. looking forwards to friends, family, and the holiday spirit!

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happy holidays!!

nice morning run

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i’ve been a little…ummm…lazy lately. cold weather and early morning runs haven’t been on the agenda like they should. that being said i was overdue for a run this weekend and my lovely daughter joined me 🙂 she kicked out 3 miles with me and it was such a peaceful run too. here’s to more great runs!

it’s been a minute!!

bless me blog for i have sinned, it’s been 2 weeks since my last post…ok, sorry to get all ‘holy’ on you 🙂 but it has been a minute…so what’s new?!

i’m still running, so i’m happy to report that. i’m typically doing three 3-mile runs per week and have been trying to throw another day of about a 20-30 minutes indoor workout routine. on that note, i totally love having a darigold refuel after a workout.

darigold refuel

darigold refuel

it really is so damn good tasting! i think i workout or run just to justify having one! 🙂

with the holidays around the corner, things have been a little busy. been looking at the holiday schedule and trying to plan some extra time with the kids during that winter break. maybe we can go somewhere or visit some place new…i always like to explore a new area.

my next 5k got postponed till february so i need to find another one before the end of the year. for now, i’ll keep running.

to change the subject a bit, i’m kinda / sorta becoming a bigger nerd than i thought i could be haha. my co-worker has turned me onto these poster / pop-culture / prints from a few sites. i’ve been ‘perusing’ for a couple of months now and have recently seen a few prints i liked. i ordered my first 2 posters last week 🙂

i ordered ‘they keep calling me’ by joshua andrew belangerorder online here – which pays homage to the movie “the crow”. i think it’s totally badass!

They Keep Calling Me by Joshua Andrew Belanger

They Keep Calling Me by Joshua Andrew Belanger

i can’t wait to frame this…i’ll post pics of this print once i receive it and have it framed 🙂

back to school

school 2013

another weekend with the girls and it was a doozy! doozy = $$$ 🙂 they start school in a little over a week so we went shopping for clothes. i think it took us a little over 2 hours to get everything, which i think is good time…although i wouldn’t know since it takes me 5-10 minutes to find something when i shop HAHA! i know it was a long time cuz my feet were hurting. but as we’re checking out and the lady is ringing up the clothes one by one, my middle daughter is watching the total amount grow…she lovingly pats me on the back and says “sorry dad”. LOL!

what made the pain easily go away this weekend is the realization that football is starting!! go 49ers!

santa cruz beach boardwalk

my girls and i spent last weekend in santa cruz, as an early birthday party/gift for my youngest daughter. a first time there for them and they had a blast!

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it had been many years since i had been there, but i always remember the giant dipper and the loggers revenge. those two rides just made an impression on me as a young kid and i’m glad my kids got to experience them and enjoy them as much as i did. i remember my dad riding the rides with me, especially the loggers revenge. being as he passed last year, it brought back some good memories just being at the boardwalk again.

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the day was beautifully clear and warm. we couldn’t have asked for more so we spent all day enjoying every thing we could at the boardwalk.

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the chocolate covered bacon at marini’s was a hit. the kids had seen an episode on some food show about this place at the boardwalk. they had seen it like a week prior to us visiting so this was a MUST in their minds. they headed straight for the chocolate covered bacon, so of course, we had to dig in and try it!

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my younger two attempted to conquer the climbing wall. the height proved a little more difficult to overcome, but i gotta give it to them for trying!

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of course we spent a little time on the beach too. they kids buried each other…that’s not really her feet in the picture above, it’s where we stuck the shoes, she wanted to appear all short 🙂

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the drive back the next day was horrible but we made the best of it. we stopped at the casa de fruta and loaded up on some sweets. we hung out for a bit before heading back to the valley heat.

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our final stop for dinner was at zamora’s in fresno for some bomb mexican food. this place really is pretty darn good!

great weekend with my kids and hopefully we made some memorable moments for them.

happy father’s day

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it’s been a little over a year but it feels like forever, happy father’s day pops!

coastal trip

my two younger daughters and i hit the coast early last week, staying in pismo and visiting morro bay, cayucos, and cambria.

pismo beach

we pulled into pismo and the girls quickly hit the beach. after checking into our room, we settled in and hopped over to arroyo grande to catch a movie, epic.

the next day we drove out to morro bay, hit just about all the candy shops and for some reason, the girls wanted mexican food. i was totally down for that! i fired up yelp on my phone and found a small little joint called “tacos de mexico”. this little tasty meal pictured below was bomb! chile verde, rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream, chili, and a little bit of chips.

tacos de mexico

up next was hearst castle. the girls loved it there. they were amazed at everything and afterwards, we explored the grounds, which included the neptune pool, roman pool, and various buildings surrounding the main house.

hearst castle

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