Thursday, August 30, 2012

Picasa Controls Blogger's Picture Uploads

As you may have noticed, this blog has been under construction for the past several days.  I've actually spent a few months trying to decide what I want this to be.  More on that later.

You may have noticed that my header has changed almost every day this week.  I was playing around with different headers and trying to decide which one I liked.  When I finally settled on a header, I went to upload it and I received an error message telling me I had exceeded my storage quota.

What?  I have a storage quota?  I had no idea.  The "help" link on this error message took me to Picasa Web albums where I saw every picture I have ever uploaded to my blog.  There was a tagline at the bottom saying I had hit 99.98% storage capacity.  Just great.  When I went to delete a photo, just one photo, it also deleted it from my blog.  On to plan B.

Then I consulted Google.  Doesn't everyone?  I discovered that I could go flip through the photos and find the previous header images I had uploaded, delete those, and then cross my fingers and hope for the storage space to be freed up.  Done.

It worked!  So before I break it again, I think I will leave it alone for a little while until I figure out exactly what I'm doing!

If you ever encounter this error message, when working in the Layout section of your blog, you will know exactly how to fix it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baked Donuts

Save your calories!  These donut are made in the oven.

If you follow me on Pinterest, you'll notice my obsession with food.  On my board, "Recipes to Make" I have over 200 recipes pinned.  Buried among the recipes is a picture of a lone strawberry donut.  The word "baked" caught my eye as I skimmed through the images.  Baked donuts?  Without the mess of frying?  Sign me up!

This led me to search out donut pans.  I purchased this one on Amazon and finally got the chance to test it out.  Saturday morning I enlisted Hunter to help me mix the ingredients.  I really just wanted to test out the pan and see how it did so I used the recipe that came with it.  I was amazed at how well these turned out!  After they cooled for a little bit I lifted them out of the pan with the tip of a spatula.  I was worried that they might break or get stuck in the pan but they were perfect!
I used this roasting pan to set the donuts on as I iced them.  Aren't they gorgeous?

So gorgeous in fact that Hunter couldn't wait to steal one and take a bite.

Baked Donuts
adapted from Norpro

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
 2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1 T shortening

1 cup powdered sugar
2 T hot water

Preheat oven to 325^.  Grease doughnut pan.  Mix all dry ingredients first and stir in wet ingredients.  Fill each donut cup 3/4 full.   Bake 8 to 10 minutes.  Gently lift out with a spatula after slightly cooled.  Mix glaze together and pour over or dip in donuts.  Makes 10 donuts.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Hunter's favorite snack is a dose late night popcorn before he goes to bed.  He asks for it right after dinner, or even during his bath. 

Hello?  Is popcorn there?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

House Update - Walls & Wood

Here's this week's latest house update. 
Meet our chief inspector!  If he doesn't like what he sees he might engage you in a game of basketball.  Or hide in a closet when you're not watching.

They've added in the wood trim around the ceilings and the stairs.  Below is our dining room looking out onto the stairs.  We now have the wrought iron spindles added in.  We upgraded the spindles from the plain wooden ones all the way up to the top of the stairs and gracing one side of the landing.  We could have had spindles on the gameroom side but we decided to save our money there and let it just be a wall.  It's not a full wall as the gameroom has "windows" in the walls which are just large openings that look out over the stairs.

They've also finished the texture over the sheetrock which is the basis for our walls.  I guess it's just sprayed on.  Don't you just love those arched doorways!
We have kitchen cabinets!  The window you see in the far right of the picture will be over our sink.  We chose the darkest color of cabinets they had to choose from.  The current trend is painting your cabinets white but we'll stick with our dark colors.
The hole in the middle of the cabinets is where our dishwasher is going.  I wonder if I should add knobs to all the cabinets??
Alas, this is our kitchen island.  And the cabinet maker in the background.  Korey said he did all of this in one day.  This kitchen island is something I've always wanted in my future kitchen.  No matter how big or small, I wanted an island to be able to prep food on.  With the floorplan we chose, I didn't like the island that came with it.  I lobbied our sales guy to get the island that came with another floorplan.  It was supposed to have a breakfast bar area on the backside (the cabinet guy's side).  Well....this is what I got below.  Not the original one, and not the one I asked for.  A completely different island.   See the four cabinets and four drawers?  It looks exactly the same on the other side. We spent an hour last night debating about it.  Do we make them change it or do we keep it?  Then I went to look at it on my way to work and then Korey met the builder there.  I talked to the builder about it.  Then I called our sales guy on his day off (sorry!) to talk about it.  The dilemma was do we keep it, gain extra storage space and give up the eating area considering the kitchen table will be rightthere or do we have them rebuild the whole thing.
I think we've decided .to keep the island as it is.  After talking to the sales guy he said we're basically getting a custom island for free.  Well, not really for free because our house isn't free.  But it's a free upgrade, I guess.  I'm off to buy more dishes!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Gentle Zoo - Forney, TX

At the beginning of the summer, I bought a Living Social deal (or was it Groupon?) for this small petting zoo called The Gentle Zoo.  It was only $10 and was good for 4 people.  Since my weekends are so precious with Hunter, I bought one so that we could have some quality family time doing something fun.  Errands be gone, it was time to pet some animals!

When we turned off the main highway down the country road all we passed were houses.  And then I saw the sign for it which was in someone's front yard!  Yep, that's right.  We basically drove up to someone's property and they had a mini zoo in their backyard.

We knew it would be hot so we came prepared with sunscreen and cold drinks.  We started out by letting Hunter play on a trailer with hay bales.

When you enter, you can buy feed for the animals for $4.  It was enough to last us the entire time and apparently it's universal to all the animals.  Hunter fed the baby goats.

The animals are very used to people so they know that there is food beyond the fence where little ones have dropped it. Most of the animals were under a shaded roof so that was really nice because we avoided the direct sun.

It's a sheep!  Haha Hunter looks like he's tickling his chin.  It's ok Mr. Pig.  You're next.
"Oink, oink says the pig.
Chickens!  I don't think they kept Hunter's attention that long.
Hunter decided to chunk the feed to the miniature horse.
All of the animals, I believe, have been rescued in some way.  These were the two horses they had.

They even had a bounce house for the kids to play on but Hunter doesn't quite understand what he's supposed to do on it.
Back to the animals.  We still had lots of feed left to pass out.

Look at those sweaty curls on the back of my baby's head!  No, not the sheep!  haha  We got him a haircut later that day.
They even had a llama!

These spoons were hanging from chains so you could use them to feed the animals with.

After awhile Hunter just wanted to play with the spoon.  And he also became fascincated by a big rock they had in the area.  That's a 2 year old for you.
Ugh!  A direct sunlight blown out photo.  But they did have this cool John Deere tractor that had a mini train attached behind it.  We got a mini train ride around the property.  After this we took a break in the shade at some picnic tables.  See how close the cars are to the property?  It wasn't a big deal at all for us to run to our car to get our drinks.

Even though it was hot, this was really an easy and fun experience for us.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone that has kids.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tickle Fest

Bedtime.  A time to settle down, relax, read, and get ready for bed.  It's calm, quiet, and peaceful.

Umm...not in our house!