Sunset

Sunset

Harker Heights, Texas
05-09-14

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Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait
I’m not a big fan of self-portraits. Well, portraits of myself I should say. I’m super uber picky about photographs of me. Above is my self-portrait that I took last year (January 21, 2013) using my Nikon COOLPIX L110. Below is my newest and only one self-portrait since the one above was taken using my Canon Rebel T3i on April 12, 2014. Since I post so many photos of Dana and our kiddos, I thought it was only fair to share a couple of myself.

Self-Portrait
Thanks so much for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

Party Snaps

Monkey & Squish | Party Snaps
Monkey & Squish | Party Snaps + Tools
Monkey & Squish | Party Snaps + Teaching & Sharing
Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

Leftover party snaps from our New Years Eve stash.
I usually bring out a few boxes for the kiddos to play with on lazy days.
It was Monks’ idea to grab the stakes and try to pop the snaps with them.
Last photo shows Monk teaching Squish how to use the stakes with the snaps.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

Stuffed Jalapenos

Today I’m making my FAVORITE stuffed jalapeno recipe.
I posted the original recipe many many months ago, but I thought I’d share it again.
Today I substituted the sour cream with greek yogurt since I didn’t have any sour cream in the house.
Can I say, I think I love it with the greek yogurt?!?!

Monkey & Squish | Stuffed Jalapenos Recipe
I was stuffing these in my mouth faster than I could make them.
Store these in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Anyhow follow the link for my original recipe.
Fresh Jalapenos Stuffed with Cream Cheese Filling

Thanks so much for visiting!
-XOXO Lysa

Thinkery

After our amazing Valentines lunch, we were off to the Thinkery for a fun-filled day.
The Thinkery is the new Austin Children’s Museum. We visited the museum once before when it was still at its 2nd Street location a couple of years ago. Last October, I mentioned to Dana that I wanted to take the kiddos back there since it had been such a long time since we visited. I found out later that the 2nd Street location was closed and the Thinkery would open up in December. We made plans and finally got to visit the museum at its’ new location.

Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum | Austin, Texas
We all had an amazing time exploring the new location. Both my one and four-year old had a blast. I was so glad I purchased tickets online ahead of time. When we arrived at 1PM, there was about seven families in line waiting to buy tickets. With our printed tickets in hand we were able to walk right in.

Welcome | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
There were lots of fun exhibits for the kids to explore and a play structure for the kiddos to run around and get out some energy.

Thinkery Playground | Austin Children's Museum | Austin, Texas
Thinkery Playground | Austin Children's Museum | Austin, Texas
Innovators' Workshop | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Innovators' Workshop | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
One of my favorite exhibit was the Light Lab.

Light Lab | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Light Lab | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Light Lab | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Light Lab | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Since it was Valentines Day, I had to make a red heart with the giant-sized “Lite-Brite”.

Light Lab | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum | Red Heart
For both my kiddos, their favorite exhibit was the Currents Exhibit. I made sure to bring an extra set of clothes for them because these two cannot resist playing with water.

Currents Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Currents Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Currents Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Currents Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Monk made two Valentines cards in the Kitchen Lab. She really enjoyed the splatter art project. You had to take strawberry puree and squirt it onto a piece of paper that was inside of a salad spinner. Spin the salad spinner and you end up with splatter art.

Kitchen Lab | Splatter Art | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Kitchen Lab | Splatter Art | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Kitchen Lab | Splatter Art | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Monkey and Squish also loved the farmer’s market in the Let’s Grow Exhibit. They enjoyed collecting eggs from the chicken coop, picking out veggies, weighing what they collected and pretending to cook.

Let's Grow Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Let's Grow Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Let's Grow Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum

Let's Grow Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
We spent four hours there and only left because it was closing time. We all had a wonderful time and I look forward to visiting again soon.

The Thinkery
1830 Simond Ave
Austin, Texas 78723
CLOSED MONDAY (except for Baby Bloomers)
Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Community Night Wednesday 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

Admission
Visitors: $9
Ages 0-23 months: FREE

Thanks so much for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

D.K. Sushi

For Valentines Day we took a trip down to Austin and had lunch at our favorite sushi restaurant, D.K. Sushi in North Austin. I know I’ve written about D.K. Sushi before, but seriously we LOVE this place! We’re THAT old boring couple, once we try a place and find one we love we are forever loyal customers. We’ve been going to DK’s for a few years now. I still remember the first time we walked in and sat down at one of the six tables available. It has now expanded to include lots of tables and booths and also features a stage for karaoke. They now have daily specials and my favorite, baked avocado. We always pig out when we’re there so prepare yourself for a feast for the eyes.

Baked Avocado | D.K. Sushi | Austin, Texas
This is seriously soooo GOOOOOOD!
Spicy crab meat heaped onto half of an avocado topped with sesame seeds, green onions and masago then baked to perfection.

The King and I & Ahi Crunch | D.K. Sushi | Austin, Texas
These two rolls were a couple of the specials. The one in the front is called Ahi Crunch and the one in the back is called The King and I. I don’t remember what was in the Ahi Crunch, but the King and I consisted of spicy yellowtail, cucumber and scallions topped with escolar, shaved almonds and tobiko. Delicious and the presentation is just gorgeous!

Naked Tiger Roll & L.A. Roll | D.K. Sushi | Austin, Texas
The one in the front is called the Naked Tiger Roll which consists of baked green mussel, gourd, avocado and topped with tobiko. The roll in the back is the L.A. Roll which is a California Roll (crab, avocado, and cucumber) topped with masago.

Torched Escolar | D.K. Sushi | Austin, Texas
These are Torched Escolar. One order comes with two pieces. As you can see we needed several orders to appease our fat asses. Torched escolar over rice drenched in ponzu sauce and topped with a sprinkle of scallions. Yummy and buttery, I can’t get enough of these! No trip to DK’s is ever complete without a few of these delicious beauties. Seriously, my mouth is watering just looking at this photo! These are not on the menu so make sure you request it if you want to give them a try.

Volcano Roll | D.K. Sushi |Austin, Texas
This is also another favorite, the Volcano Roll. California Roll with cream cheese, topped with a spicy seafood mix. I love the seafood mix. It’s my favorite part of this dish. I’ve tried Volcano Rolls in other sushi restaurants and none can compare to DK’s.

Yellowtail, Tuna, Masago and Shrimp Nigiri
From left to right: Yellow Tail, Tuna, Masago and Shrimp Nigiri.

Tropical Roll | D.K. Sushi | Austin, Texas
The Tropical Roll is what we call our dessert roll. It consists of apple, pineapple, avocado with rice and topped with mango and strawberry. It’s a very light and yummy roll.

Roses made from Yellow Tail, Tuna and Salmon with a heaping pile of crab meat. | D.K. Sushi | Austin Texas
This is our very special bonus from D.K.
A pile of crab meat accompanied by roses made out of Yellow Tail, Tuna and Salmon.
It’s beautiful isn’t it? No one has ever made anything so gorgeous just for us. We love you D.K. and we hope you stay around for many many years to come. Thank you for an unforgettable Valentines Day lunch.

Visit:
D.K. Sushi | North Austin

5610 North Lamar Blvd Ste B
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 302-1090

HOURS OF OPERATION
Tuesday-Saturday | 11am – 9pm
Sunday | 12pm – 8pm
Monday Closed

Thanks so much for visiting.
-XOXO Lysa

Sunday Stills: Snacks

This is my seriously my favorite snack. It’s quick and easy to make. We always pick up about a pound of pepperoni from the deli when we do our grocery shopping. I love having pepperoni in the house. I use it for homemade pizza, and for snacking on. In the mornings while I prepare lunch for the kiddos, I’ll pull out some pepperoni and slice up a bit of their favorite cheese (Bella Vitano) and just like that the kiddos are happy snacking on cheese and pepperoni until lunch is ready. For Dana and I, we like our pepperoni with sliced fresh mozzarella, a bit of thinly sliced onion and bell peppers.

Monkey & Squish | Pepperoni Wraps | Appetizers | Snack: Pepperoni, Bell Peppers, Onions and Fresh Mozzarella

Monkey & Squish | Pepperoni Wraps | Appetizer | Snack: Pepperoni, onions, bell peppers and fresh mozzarella.
We served these Pepperoni Wraps at Monk’s birthday party (last year) as an appetizer and they were a hit!
The sliced onions and bell peppers gives this snack a nice refreshing bite.
What are your favorite things to snack on?
Sunday Stills: Snacks

Thanks so much for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

Brooch Necklace

It has been a many months since I’ve picked up my pliers and crafted any jewelry.
This Friday of course is Valentines Day, and I wanted a statement piece to wear with my planned outfit. We’re heading out to the Thinkery in Austin for a fun family day. Here in Harker Heights, it’s really laid back. You don’t see many people wearing statement pieces. I wore my crystal bow necklace yesterday when we took the kids to the park and felt a bit out-of-place with that much sparkle. In Austin, however you can get away with lots of things I wouldn’t normally wear, for example this necklace that I made earlier.

Brooch Necklace | Vintage Glass Beads | Vintage Rhinestone Brooch
That brooch was given to me by a dear friend a few years ago. I have loved it since the day it arrived in the mail. I’ve been wanting to do something with it, I hated seeing it sit on my shelf collecting dust. I used vintage jet black glass beads and of course that beautiful vintage rhinestone brooch. I believe the brooch is made out of acrylic rhinestone, even then it’s still a pretty heavy piece. I love using vintage beads! When I was still making stuff for my etsy shop, majority of the components I used were vintage glass beads & vintage glass rhinestone. Anyhow, here is what the necklace used to look like.

Pink Chrysanthemum Necklace | Vintage Glass Beads, Pink Resin Chrysanthemum
I liked it but after trying it on several times, I felt it needed more beads, but all I had were the ten used in the necklace. I decided to re-work it to incorporate the brooch. I took off the chrysanthemum, added a jumpring to the center of the beads and then added the brooch.

Brooch Necklace (Back) | Vintage Glass Beads | Vintage Brooch
I don’t remember if the pin that secured the brooch to your garment was already broken, or if I took it off. Anyhow, I secured the jumpring to the back of the pin via the clasp that held the pin closed using a “S” type hook that I made from an eyepin. I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. I feel the beads add just a bit of sparkle without taking the attention away from the beautiful brooch.

Brooch Necklace (Worn) | Vintage Glass Beads | Vintage Rhinestone Brooch
This is a link to my favorite vintage jewelry supplier:
Bumbershoot Supplies
Now go and create something fabulous!

What are your thoughts? Too much sparkle?
Have a wonderful day, and thank you for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

Food Coloring, Baking Soda and Vinegar

Food Coloring, Baking Soda and Vinegar
This is one of Monk’s favorite activity. You can just feel her excitement when I mention baking soda and vinegar. We’ve done this project a handful of times. Sometimes I make colored vinegar, other times it’s colored baking soda, but this time I just gave her the food coloring and let her do what she wanted.

We used a large glass baking pan to contain the baking soda. A measuring cup filled with vinegar and a few little bottles of Wilton’s Food Coloring. For tools, we used a big spoon and a child’s syringe used to administer medicine.

Food Coloring, Baking Soda and Vinegar
Food Coloring, Baking Soda and VinegarFood Coloring, Baking Soda and Vinegar

I love her smiles when she sees the vinegar reacting with the baking soda.
This is also a great way for kids to learn how to make secondary colors.

Food Coloring, Baking Soda and Vinegar
Food Coloring, Baking Soda and Vinegar
In the end she ditched all the tools and just played with the mixture with her hands.
I made sure she changed into some old clothes before she started playing, just in case she got some on her clothes. Her hands will be stained for a few days, but it’s so worth it, every time.
What are some activities that keeps your kids occupied?

Thanks so much for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

I Am (Uplifting Them) Project.

I Am (Uplifting Them) is a project aimed to flood the internet with uplifting of children rather than shaming.

Dr. Seuss Quote

I am saddened by the amount of kid-shaming photos and stories I see all over the internet. My proposal is that we flood the world wide web with kid-positivity and uplifting stories and photos. So, grab a kid (preferably your own; if not get permission) and ask them to finish the sentence, ‘I am…’ Write down what they say (I guarantee it’ll be positive) snap a picture of them holding it and post it everywhere! Post them here as well and let’s see how many uplifting, positive things we can learn about our children!

I found out about this project while browsing my Reader late last night.
I read about it on A Magical Childhood.
What an awesome idea and of course I couldn’t wait until the kids wake up so we could participate.
This morning I asked Monk to look at the photos with me on the I Am. Facebook page so she could get a better understanding.

I Am (Uplifting Them) | "I love my family and everyone except the bad guys"
I asked Baelynne (Monkey-age 4) what would be on her sign if she was to have one and her response was:
“I love my family and everyone except the bad guys!”
For Myles (Squish-age 1) I wrote I am curious!

I Am (Uplifting Them) | I am curious!
I Am (Uplifting Them) | Monkey & Squish
So grab a kid (or two) and show the world how awesome they are!
Connect with I Am (Uplifting Them) Facebook | Twitter

Thanks so much for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

“Snow” Day in Central Texas

Yaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy!
We finally got some snow, well icy snow. It’s not the nice flaky stuff you find up north. It started snowing last night and we did go out there for a few minutes but it was just too cold. By the time we got outside again mid-morning everything was iced over, but we enjoyed playing in it nonetheless. There wasn’t much snow on the ground. We managed to scrounge up some that accumulated on the chairs outside to make this little miniature icy snow man.

Miniature Icy Snow Man
Here’s what I wore today to frolic around outside.
I layered my floral dress with a striped sweater, tights and a denim jacket and of course my Hunter Boots. My jacket + tights are from Target. I picked up my dress (She’s Cool) and sweater (Abercrombie & Fitch) from ThredUp. If you’re unfamiliar with the site, it’s an online consignment store. I’ve ordered from them about four times and have been very happy with all my purchases. They sell pre-owned, new and used clothes for women, juniors and children. I LOVE thrift shopping and ThredUp has an amazing selection.  If you purchase using this link you will receive $10 towards your first purchase.

Striped Sweater | Floral Dress | Polka Dot Denim Jacket | Navy Tights | Brick Red Hunter Boots | Winter Fashion
Baelynne (Monkey) and I jumping in the snow.

Winter Fashion | Jumping in the snow.
Dana tossing Myles (Squish) in the air.

Myles (Squish) & Daddy
Our little family had a great time and hopefully we’ll have a few more snow days before spring arrives.
I hope you are staying warm and cozy during this crazy weather.
Thanks for stopping by.
-XOXO Lysa

Wild King Crab Legs

Wild King Crab Legs

Messing with my new camera in manual mode.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

Music for the Soul

In one weeks time, the family and I will be standing in the Stubb’s Amphitheatre listening to our favorite band.
Michael Franti & Spearhead is coming to town!!!!!!
We have been looking forward to this for MONTHS!!!!
We got to see them a few years ago when they were touring for The Sound of Sunshine.
Michael Franti & Spearhead | Sound of Sunshine Tour | Stubb's Austin, TXIt was such an AAAHHHMAAAAZING show.
Michael Franti & Spearhead | Sound of Sunshine Tour Stubb's | Austin, TX | Michael Franti & Spearhead Concert | Sound of Sunshine Tour
We took Monk with us thinking that she would enjoy the experience. She was only 1 year + 1 month at the time. We took photos and have talked about it from time to time. She is soo uber excited. At one point during the concert the band calls the kiddos up on to the stage so they can all dance and rock out together. Monk is really looking forward to that part. She says she will be going up onstage so she can give Michael Franti a hi-five.
Michael Franti | Sound of Sunshine Tour | Stubb's Austin, TXFamily friendly concert & beautiful music from an amazing band.
It’s going to be soooo much FUN!

Thanks for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

Ballhandling

No Ballhandling in Hallway | Austin Sports Center

Zinnia and Sunset Deck

Zinnia and Sunset Deck | Texas | Balcones  Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
I took this photo a few years ago, back in October 2011.
The Sunset Deck at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge is overlooking the Colorado River in the distance.