Monkey Bread!!

I am all for quick and easy recipes. The less ingredients and the less the preparation, the better. Especially when it comes to pastry, because I can’t pastry, I just can’t. The dough never comes out right. So, when I saw this video above, I had to try it. Also, because there were 4 cans of mini biscuit dough that no one wants to eat. Plus, it’s like 3 ingredients.

I had never heard of monkey bread before, but it looks good, so we tried one of the sweet recipes. The girls and I baked the cinnamon and sugar version. It came out really well and even looked like the finished product in the video! And it is yummy! I prepped the ingredients and the girls did the dirty work of coating the dough. There was sugar and cinnamon everywhere, but it’s all good. Here is what ours looked liked:

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A Happy, Happy Birthday!!

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Happy, Happy Birthday, Xavier!! Don’t worry, no cheesy post :) I hope that you are enjoying your day. Thanks for being a great guy and thank you for being a great, fun, loving dad and thank you for working hard and taking care of us, even on your birthday!! :) I wish you the best of the best and many more awesome birthdays to come. The girls will have fun giving you birthday licks, I hope you are ready! :) We love you lots! :)

Everyone, if you see him today in real life or on social media, make sure you wish him a Happy Birthday!! :)

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Happy, Happy Birthday!!!! :)

 

 

 

 

Week 44: Finally, Friday!!

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Happy end of the weekend! Here is late Friday post. I hope you had a great weekend. Congratulations to Germany for winning the World Cup, as I had predicted(on my bracket). But, the Rockets are not having a good week in the free agency world. So, hopefully the coming weeks will be better. I really, really, really doubt that Trevor Ariza will make a significant (or any) difference for us. So, find someone else, anyone else.

Highlights:

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It was a pretty uneventful week. We beat the heat this week, by going to a friend’s pool. This month, we are having Summer Games at work. I played in the Dodge Ball tournament. We won one and lost one. The winners were insane, I would have lost a limb as hard as they were throwing those soft ass balls. This week, I am doing the Free Throw contest, wish me luck. And Xavier and I finally got to check out Barrel 31. They have a great Happy Hour.

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Xavier took us to a huge park last weekend. I can say this about Kansas: They know how to do parks. Shawnee Mission Park is huge and full of activities.

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Aspen received a kite for her birthday, and she has been wanting to fly it, so we decided to have a picnic and fly kites at Shawnee Mission last weekend. I do not remember kite flying being so difficult when I was younger. I mean it took me, 3 tries of maybe 30 minutes at a time of running around trying to get that thing up. My kite flying arm(left) was sore the next day. But, I HAD TO get that kite to fly.

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Xavi, Aspen, and I took turns trying to fly that thing, while Xavier and Jaelan laughed and pointed at us. They said I lied about knowing how to fly a kite. But, it turns out, I had the strings wrong, Xavi figured it out, and the stupid kite finally got up in the air. I said I knew how to FLY a kite, not how to CONSTRUCT one. But it finally flew, and Aspen was SO SO uber excited. And so I was happy.

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Aspen:

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While we were at a coffee shop last week, she scratched open a mosquito bite. We didn’t have any band-aids on hand, so she suggested we do this instead:

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And then she wanted to smell the flowers:

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Also, she loves her Doc McStuffins doctor set that she received for her birthday, and she loves to take your blood pressure, on your leg:

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Aspen is obsessed with Frozen. She watches it several times a day. She sometimes refers to herself as Anna. When one of her sisters are being mean to her, she tells us that Elsa is being mean. Also, she now offers kisses called, A True Love’s Kiss. She will caress your face from the forehead to your chin, then lift your chin up to her face, and give you a kiss. It is the cutest thing ever. I will try to get it on video. Finally, Aspen and the kitty still hates Fudge.

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Happy!!

Aspen

Who is the happiest in the world? We need to know these things, you know.  According to OECD : Austria, Denmark, Canada, Norway, and Switzerland are the top 5 happiest countries in the world. The US is ranked 17th, citing income inequality, as the main reason for the low ranking. Categories that were evaluated include GDP, income equality/inequality, health care, ect. Number friendly factors.

I came across this article, and I thought it was interesting. Apparently, GDP is used as the main index to measure a nation’s happiness. Even though it overlooks other significant factors, like…..happiness. This article addresses the problem with the categorical data used to determine happiness. It suggests using actual, “happiness”, and other subjective factors to determine how happy a country really is. As in actually asking whomever, “How happy are you?”. Because not all country/people have the same happiness regardless of GDP and income and such.

The problem with this, according to the article, is there is no consensus on the distribution and how to quantify happiness, because no one has really thought of using this type of data to asses happiness. These types of surveys are conducted for a reason, and the article discourages using inaccurate assessments to guide policy. RIGHT.

Toddler in the (Home) Gym!!

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Every once in a while, when I don’t feel like running, I (try) work out in the basement. We have a little gym set up down there, nothing fancy, a bench with legs extensions and bench press/squat bar, curl bars, punching bag, and free weights. If I have to go down there, I try to do it when Aspen is napping or before the whole house wakes up. Otherwise, I end up fussing/entertaining her rather than working out. Xavier on the other hand can work out with that crazy toddler running around down there.

Xavier is helping me out with training this week, so when Aspen sees us getting ready to work out, she too has to “exercise”, she says. I protest, of course. But, Xavier says she can come, all we have to do is let her exercise, he says. I have tried to work out with her down there and it usually ends in a war and no workouts.

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Anyways, I start working out and after every rep that I finish, Xavier lets Aspen do her, “exercises”, in between when I am resting. Of course, why didn’t I think of that? He lays her down on the bench and have her do sit ups while she counts out loud. It helps with her numbers, he says, and she loves that she gets to do everything on the bench. If you let her be a part of your workout, she won’t be a bother, he says. Yea right.

But, I do notice that after she does an exercise she goes off on her own and starts playing with her toys and even goes back up to play with her sisters. She only comes back down when she is ready to do her next “exercise”. And surprisingly, I am working out without any issues. And all I had to do was let her exercise. Of course I’m sure that when it’s just me and her, it won’t go as smoothly. But I will definitely be doing that next time she insists on exercising with me, instead of skipping a work out because I don’t want to fight with a toddler.

I am so busy seeing her as a distraction down there, that I forget that she might actually learn something from watching me work out. Maybe, I should see how it might teach her the value of fitness and exercising, and help with her numbers. Maybe. We’ll see. I’ll let you know how the new method, “works out”, without Xavier.

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Week 42 & 43: Finally, Friday!!

 

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Happy 4th of July Weekend! I hope everyone enjoyed the USA celebration with their family and friends. I took a little blogging break, though not intentionally. I think that has been my longest drought, hopefully it won’t happen again. Last week was crazy busy and this week, the girls are back, YAY!!

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Highlights:

We went down to Houston last weekend to pick up the girls(they were ready to come home they said), celebrate Aspen’s 3rd birthday with family, and spend some time with my sister, DJ, who lives in West Virginia, and who rarely get to come home. So, everyone was home for the 4th of July. We took the girls to a water park, and the sun drained the life out of Aspen and I, then we grilled out back with friends, and watched fireworks across the street from our house. No traffic and no hassles. It was a lovely day.

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The Big Girls:

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I am surprised that the girls were ready to come back home, since summer break is only half-way over! I think they wanted to come back home so that they can make sure we don’t visit Tita Dora without them. But still, I am happy that they are back. Now I have my dishwasher, dog-walker, and babysitter back! :) Just kidding.

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Aspen:

Aspen turned 3 last week and she was so excited. But her party got rained out, so it was a complete disaster, in the eyes of me, but she didn’t even notice because she got her birthday song, cake, and her presents. We did get to take her and her sisters to Jollibee, for the first time ever, which is a Filipino must. The food was good, but it was not as festive as I previously remembered from a hundred years ago, when I last visited, as a teenager :(

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Here is Aspen’s latest try at, “Let it Go!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 41: Finally, Friday!!

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Happy Weekend!! I hope you had an awesome and productive week. Excuse the blog silence during the week, it was a long week.

This week was a test-bed(an overused compound word/phrase at work) for running early in the morning, before work. I’ll give it another week or so before I denounce it.

Highlights:

Since we didn’t have the girls for Father’s Day, I got Xavier and I tickets to the first Boulevardia (Beer)Fest at West Bottoms on Sunday. Mistake number one: we should have definitely went on Saturday. Mistake number two: expecting it to be similar to the Houston Wine Fest or the Houston Beer Fest. Also, I missed out on the first PorchFest KC on Saturday, because I am a super procrastinator, and father’s day gift perusing took way longer that I had anticipated.

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Boulevardia:

We went on Sunday afternoon. It was not as crowded as the previous day, as indicated by Instagram. The down pour in the morning might have impacted this as well, and the fact that it was Father’s Day. I was a little disappointed at the selection of taps and what was available to for tasting on this day. Maybe the participating brewery and distillery did not pack enough for the 3 day festival, I don’t know. But, this event was scheduled for 12-6, and by about 230-3pm, most samples were gone.

We got there around 2pm, as I was sure, this was early enough and more than enough time to taste and stroll. Not. We were able to taste a couple of samples. I tried out an awesome cocktail from Pinckney Bend Distillery, their white corn whiskey collins, and it was great. We didn’t get much in by the way of tasting. The beers on tap were ok.

But the music was pretty good and there was plenty of food trucks lined up. There was an awesome all girl band on the Homegrown Stage, whose name escapes me. I was glad to find out that the festival had plenty of family friendly activities as well. There was also a Makers Market of local artisans. Overall, for a first time event, it was decent, and I will probably go back next year, on a Saturday.

Also, Xavier invited me to go fishing with him and his friends. The last time I went fishing, I hooked my finger pretty bad. This time wasn’t so tragic, and I even caught a fish, though not as big as Xavi’s catches. I can’t remember ever catching a fish as an adult, so it was nice. The fishing spot was really nice and peaceful, and we were so busy enjoying the peace and quiet, that we lost track of time, and Olathe Police had to kick us out of the park. But, it all ended well, lol.

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Finally, we finally got to try out La Bodega. Apparently, it’s the only tapas bar in Kansas City. Is this true? The paella was pretty good, but the sangria was only ok. The Spanish Coffee, with its fancy blazed 151 and cinnamon, was awesome, and not just because it’s a coffee drink.

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The Girls:

This week the girls were in Dallas. They went to Six Flags and got to spend a day in a farm and feed some cows. Interesting. They were really excited about the cow and were minutes of missing a mama cow give birth. They did get to see a baby cow take its first steps. No cow milking though.

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Jaelan said now she is a real Cowgirl. This is good practice for when they visit Tita Dora’s place in West Virginia. She has chicken, pigs, and goats.

Aspen is missing home and she keeps asking me when I am going to pick her up. Soon, Terminator, soon.

Also, Aspen’s birthday is coming up, and she is very excited, she can’t wait to turn 3. I can’t believe she is turning 3, already.

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