Monday, August 30, 2010

Just a quickie

IMG_2323Much to Maisie’s delight, K & A spent the night with us Thursday and Maisie loved having them here when she awoke in the morning.  She also loved that K would carry her around and K seemed to enjoy doing it. 

IMG_2328K had a spelling test Friday so before Maisie and I walked K & A to the bus stop Maisie tested K on her words.

IMG_2340Maisie and Eammon have really gotten into building with Lincoln Logs and each day a new structure goes up.  Here’s Maisie Friday afternoon with the structure du jour just before we headed out for her swimming lesson.

Yogli MogliMaisie K & A were together from Thursday after school until Friday morning then from after school until late bedtime Friday night, then from breakfast to bedtime on both Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday afternoon Maisie went with K, A & Anne for a bit of shopping as well as a pedicure & out for lunch and she had a blast!  On Sunday after we all enjoyed dinner together Eammon and I took the kids to Yogli Mogli for dessert as a nice little way to end their long weekend together.  We figured out that except for school lunch on Friday, the three children ate every meal together from Thursday night though Sunday night!  It’s so great that they always have so much fun and love being together. 

While Eammon and Maisie have been having fun with the Lincoln logs and the children have been keeping one another busy, I have been doing some experimental sous vide cooking which has been awesome.  Sunday morning for breakfast Eammon, Anne and I had the most perfectly cooked and delicious steak and eggs that we’ve ever tasted.  Can’t wait until this coming weekend to make some more eggs and not sure what else but those eggs were out of this world!  Maybe I’ll even get pictures of the food before we devour everything.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer Fun Meet

4913419915_6b0d41fe33_o(photo by Angie)
Maisie had an absolute blast at her very first gymnastics meet and can’t wait to compete again.  Maisie did very well and we are just so very proud of her.  Her entire team really stepped it up, put their best performances forward and they all did great! 

I had my concerns and doubts about how Maisie would perform or hold up as the night before we had huge thunder and lightning storms roll through the area so Maisie had fitful sleep all night and was completely awake from 1-3am.  We had to be at the gym very early and come wake-up time of 6am, she really didn’t want to get out of bed but once up, she got going and had a fabulous day.

IMG_2217Maisie dressed and ready to head to the meet. 

IMG_2229Maisie and teammate Mara ready for the meet to begin.

IMG_2238NMGC girls getting ready for their warm-up stretches

IMG_2253General stretch.

4913523471_cae942af10_o(photo by Angie)
Coach Dena giving Maisie and her teammates a little pep-talk before the meet.

I’m so proud of my girl, she did so well!!  In the end, Maisie walked away with 4 medals, vault, beam, floor and all-around a pretty fantastic day!

4913449921_0897a1b899_o(photo by Angie)
Maisie took first place on the vault with a 9.05.

4913985752_94e989cfd8_o(photo by Angie)
Maisie with all her teammates for all-around medals.  1st: Savannah, 2nd: Mara, 3rd: Maisie, 4th: Aspen, 5th: Caroline, 6th: Gracie, 7th: Taylor, 8th: Tia.   

4913346879_6163c5c3d7_o(photo by Angie)
Caroline, Savannah, Maisie and Mara.

IMG_2288Maisie & Aspen with Coach Dena.

IMG_2290K & A cheered Maisie on.  K made a great sign and A brought Maisie flowers!  

After the meet Eammon, Maisie and I along with Anne, K & A went out for a delicious spicy Sichuan lunch at one of our favorite places.  We then headed back home where Maisie, K and A stayed with Eammon and played while Anne & I headed to the store to pick up ingredients for a dinner party she was hosting.  Anne and I then spent the rest of the afternoon cooking and then we all enjoyed a wonderful dinner together. 

IMG_2303Come 8:30 though Maisie and I were done, exhausted and ready for bed so we headed home.  I took out the little buns which had been in all day and Maisie was absolutely delighted with her curly hair!  She said that she and I looked like twins and she had to rush back next door to K & A’s to show off her curls!  

9.0 board summer fun meet1At Maisie’s gym they post the names, by level, of all the gymnasts who attain a 9.0 or better.  When we arrived at the gym today we got to see Maisie’s name displayed on the Club 9.0 board!

Maisie has only two more meets this year, one in each October and November.  Because of our cruise in September she’ll miss that meet and in December she’ll miss State Meet because it’s the first weekend we’re in Aruba.  Now that my little girl is competing I’ll have to work our vacation schedule not only around school but her meet schedule!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Preparing for Maisie’s first meet

The excitement in our house is palpable as we prepare for Maisie’s first gymnastics meet this Saturday.  Maisie is beyond excited, constantly talking about her routines and what’s going to happen and medals, the girl is planning on scoring some points and coming home with metals!!  I just hope that she has fun, does well and enjoys the experience.

IMG_2199Yesterday after practice Maisie received her competition leotard which as you can see in the above picture, she just adores!  Pink, shiny, sparkly AND rhinestones make Maisie one very happy gymnast!

Today I had a practice go at putting Maisie’s hair into little buns, a first for me.  All the gymnasts at her level need to have two little buns instead of a single ponytail because part of their beam routine is a forward roll so a pony on the back of their head would bother them.  I went out and bought hair nets so between those, lots of hair pins and plenty of sparkly glitter spray, I did okay.  I obviously still need to practice and will hopefully do better as I do it more but it doesn’t matter because and in my totally biased opinion, I think she looks stinkin’ adorable!

IMG_2188Not only did she receive her competition leotard but also this extremely shiny and very cute warm-up/practice leotard.  Maisie has a very shiny one that she just adores which is quite similar to this one so when she pulled this leotard from the bag she was super excited.  She especially loves that the leo has the gym’s initials in green rhinestones down her right side.  I wonder if she’ll ever wear any other leo to her practices or if I’m going to be washing this one multiple times each week.

IMG_2206Yesterday when the girls received their gym bags (which are an adorable zebra print with their names and gym name embroidered on the bag), goody/make-up bags (in a matching zebra print and filled with hair clips, gymnast shaped silly bands and hair ties), two pairs of adorable ribbon & tulle flip flops, a fun pink water bottle with their name in funky black letters and a zebra ribbon bow (cute, cute, cute!) and of course their two leotards, they also received their warm-up suits which they will wear as they march into and out of the gym.  Well one of the coaches warned me that Maisie’s was a bit big even though they ordered the smallest size the manufacturer made.  She told me “you ‘may’ need to take it in & up a bit.”  Well she wasn’t kidding! 

Unfortunately I am not good at sewing but I did manage to take the pants (waist & bum) in about 4-inches as well as take the pant length up about 8-inches so at least the pants will stay on her and she won’t kill herself tripping over them.  The jacket…well there’s not much I could do there.  It’s just so big on her, all I could do was roll up the sleeves and tack them into place so that they won’t unroll on her.  Even though Maisie will get a new warm-up suit next year (Since it’s Maisie’s first year on a competitive team she had to get everything new but it’s usually it’s an every-other year thing between the two leotards and the warm-up suit.  Next year all the teams get a new warm-up suit and the following year is a new competition & practice leo year) I think that she’ll get many years worth of use from this warm-up outfit.  I’m guessing that maybe by the time she’s 7 or 8 it may actually fit her perfectly!!

IMG_2210Here’s my sweet little gymnast after I removed the buns and combed out her hair.  The hairspray was obviously still trying to hold her hair in place. Maisie loved that she had poufy hair and asked to have it more often!

Today was Maisie’s last day of school for the week and she had an awesome first week of school.  She had great days at school and was excited each day to tell me about what had happened and what she learned and even better, she couldn’t wait to go back the following morning.  We have already started a good routine of a little healthy (no sugar) snack on the drive home then once in the house it’s homework and when that’s completed she gets a treat (sugar snack and she usually chooses a popsicle) then it’s off to her 3 hour gymnastics practices.  We’re home from those at 7PM where we have a quick dinner, wash and bedtime.  Maisie has been tired and each night she’s been in bed no later than 7:40PM and has been sound asleep within 10 minutes.  I love that her school (all the grades from 5K – 12) only has a four day week, Monday – Thursday because by the time Friday rolls around, it’s nice to have a quieter day.   We do school work at our pace, meet up with friends, do other fun and/or educational activities and our only scheduled thing is Maisie’s hour long swim lesson in the afternoon, gotta love Fridays!!  I think everyone should have a four-day work/school week, it rocks!!  

Maisie’s been sleeping well but I unfortunately can’t say the same for me.  Tonight I think I’m going to try and make it an early one.  I just got a batch of yogurt into the oven for a 14-hour bacteria growth session and Eammon is still at the office and I don’t know how late he’ll be, so I guess I’ll go to bed and try to catch up on a bit of sleep. 

Keep an eye on my Cook Lisa Cook and Maisie Eats Bento blogs because in the next week or so I’m going to be having some awesome giveaways.  Keep checking back on all three blogs because I know you’ll want to enter!

Night  ;-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


That describes Maisie’s first day of school.  When I picked her up she was super animated and couldn’t stop talking about her day, her classes, her teacher Miss Lisa, the other students and about how she had her own desk and gets to keep her folders, pencils, pencil sharpener and books under the wooden top!!  She told me that they worked on math, Spanish, English, phonics and reading and that they also got to visit and check out the second, third and fourth grade class rooms and sit at their big desks!  I think my girl is desk obsessed but if it makes her happy and want to be in school and learn, I say good for her!  As soon as we got home Maisie sat at the counter and showed me her work from the day and then proceeded to do all her homework.  She’s my little star!!

After a popsicle treat and some gymnastics around the house we headed off for her 3-hour practice.  She did great at practice but I could tell that it had been a big and long day for her.  We arrived home at 7PM, she ate her dinner, got washed up and was in bed at 7:35 and sound asleep by 7:45.  I’m hoping that she sleeps through the night, my sweet little bear!!


I’m backtracking a bit here in this post as I didn’t have time over the weekend to blog and yesterday I wanted to document Maisie’s first day of first grade, so here’s what’s been going on.

Friday morning Maisie and I met up with Tracy and Emerson for a fun little play date at a local children’s play gym followed by Chinese food for lunch.  Little Eme put Maisie to shame in the eating department as she is one great little eater and hopefully someday Maisie will do as well.  The girls had fun together at the gym jumping on the trampolines, climbing the little rock walls, using the slides, balance beam, foam pit and numerous other things.  At the restaurant the little girls were quite well behaved, playing with our iPhones and with Tracy’s camera, giving Tracy and I time to chat without chasing them around the gym.  It was nice to be able to spend time with them especially as they now live so close to us.  Hard to believe but I didn’t get one decent or usable photo of the two cutie girls but I’ll do better next time.

Saturday morning we attended Claire’s fourth birthday party at an inflatable place and I will say that Maisie no longer dreads nor fears these places, just look at that face!!IMG_2134Two inflatable bouncy place birthday parties in two weeks!!  So happy that she now enjoys the slides.

IMG_2138After an hour plus of sliding and jumping, Maisie decided to cool off in front of a blower.

IMG_2149Birthday girl Claire, a happy little four year old!

IMG_2143Maisie and Chani.

IMG_2140Happy birthday Claire and thank you for inviting us to your party, it was great fun!!

Saturday afternoon we headed next door to Anne & Steve’s house to a little dinner party they were hosting.  I brought along three appetizers and I’m sure glad that Anne, Steve and their friends are adventurous eaters.  So how was the octopus you ask?  Well I bbq it and it was totally awesome!!  It didn’t last long, disappearing quickly as everyone just couldn’t get enough of it! 

octopusI have added the bbq octopus recipe to my Cook Lisa Cook blog so check it out.

We had an (to use the word again) awesome dinner with everyone but that’s par for the course as it’s always good times and great food when we’re together.

photo (3)The second appetizer that I made were these Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies with jalapenos fresh from our garden.  Totally delicious and also a huge hit, disappearing almost as quickly as the octopus!

photo (1)My third appetizer was I think my personal favorite.   I know that they don’t look like much but the flavors worked so well together, I just couldn’t stop eating them!  There’s no real recipe as I just made it up as I went along based on what I had in the house.  They are Jimmy Nardello peppers from our garden filled with a mixture of cream cheese, minced figs picked fresh from Anne & Steve’s tree, some ground toasted walnuts and a bit of vanilla bean paste, then baked at 375F for about 15 minutes until the tops started to brown.  We all decided that we really liked them hot but LOVED them once they cooled to room temperature. 

All these appetizers plus Anne’s homemade guacamole was followed by a great dinner that Anne had put together.  Apple brined pork chops, a feta, vegetable and mint orzo and roasted vegetables.  Even after a lot of after dinner lounging and game playing we still ended up waddling home with full bellies.  I love that Anne enjoys cooking as much as I do and that they are adventurous eaters so it’s always a fun feast when we’re together and they’ll happily taste and eat anything I make…gotta love it! 

Good times, fun parties, wonderful food, great friends and well behaved children who can’t get enough of one another and love being together along with my very happy little Maisie Miao Miao…Awesome good days.  Life is good!

Monday, August 16, 2010

First day of first grade

IMG_2169bThis morning one very excited little girl headed off for her first day of first grade!!  Maisie was up in the middle of the night, ready to go to school but thankfully she eventually fell back asleep and got a good nights rest.  I’m sure that getting back into the swing of school and gymnastics practices will take a little getting used to but Maisie is so thrilled with all her activities, she can’t wait to just jump right in so she’s definitely up for the challenge.

First day of 5KLook at how much Maisie has grown in a year, here she is last year on her first day of kindergarten.

IMG_2167 And one final picture, my silly girl who was done with Mama’s picture taking!

I’m excited to go pick Maisie up from school and to hear all about her day, I hope that it was awesome!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Guess what I’m cooking

IMG_2129Yep, that would an octopus!!  I’ll let you know tomorrow how it turns out!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

So how cool is this?

I was recently contacted by a very nice woman with CSN stores who offered me the opportunity to review one of their products.  Well I took one look at their site and saw that they have over 200 online stores with products ranging from dinnerware to children's toys to home decor to tools to furniture to bathroom sinks so I figured how fun is this!?!?  Now I get to peruse their offerings and choose an item to review. 

If you’ve read this blog at all, or happened upon my Cook Lisa Cook or Maisie Eats Bento blogs, you know that I’m really into cooking and with my huge, brand new freezer just waiting to be filled, I’m of course immediately drawn to an item that I can use in the kitchen and CSN Stores has so many choices!

Crepe PanWhat about a lovely crepe pan.  Nutella & banana crepes or fresh lemon & powdered vanilla sugar crepes…oh your siren song.

Stainless Steel Stockpot with LidOr maybe a 36 quart stock pot?  Just think of the soups, sauces and chili I could make in this baby!  Using this lovely would sure help to fill the freezer quickly!

Covered Nonstick Roaster with Flat Rack and CoverBe still my heart.  A huge covered roaster…Swoon!  Roasts, birds and even deep casseroles.  Too many choices and too much excitement for this girl to handle.

So what would you choose?  Head on over and take a look at CSN Stores and help this girl out!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What’s been happening???

I am so glad the the run-off election here in Georgia is over as the 15+ automated political calls I was receiving each day was ticking me off big time!

On Tuesday, Tim our gardener stopped over to work in the yard and gave me sad news.  He and his family are moving to Texas and they’re leaving this Friday!!  We all love Tim and will miss him, as will our yard.  If anyone locally knows of a great gardener, please let me know.  Thanks.

Maisie has her first gymnastics competition a week from Saturday and I'm hoping that she loves performing, has a great time and that she and her team do well.  Maisie is super excited to see and receive her new team leotard and warm-ups, she's all about how sparkly and cute she'll look.  If anyone wants to come to watch the meet and to support Maisie and her teammates, send me an email and I'll forward the information to you.

From our garden we are currently harvesting butternut squash (we pulled 50 yesterday!), pumpkins, gala melons, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, basil, eggplant, string beans, watermelon and figs from Steve's tree.  I thought that the garden would save us a lot on our grocery bill and while it has, it has also ended up costing a lot too.  I have been freezing a lot of the vegetables for use this winter and I quickly ran out of space so I purchased a new freezer which was delivered today! 

IMG_2127Here’s Maisie just before leaving for practice in front of the new freezer.

Honestly we have needed a big freezer for a while because I love to cook in bulk and freeze for use later and when we were in Utah helping Tiffany stock her freezer for fall it motivated me to do the same for us.  Having already prepared, healthy, homemade meals are especially wonderful on the nights that Maisie has gymnastics practice as we don't get home until just after 7PM and being able to get dinner on the table in just minutes is a great thing! 

Ann (K & A’s Mom) and I were talking today that we haven’t done any real cooking days in a while and we’re both ready to start and now that I have so much freezer space I’m excited to get cooking again.  I’ve already made a huge batch of Bolognese sauce which should last us though the winter, if not longer as well as both chicken and oxtail stock.  Next on my list to get made and into the freezer are some of our favorites, some of which are now Tiffany’s favorites too as they’re in her freezer too.  Moussaka, Curried Shepherd’s Pie, Hearty Beef Curry and  Cioppino.  Also on the list are Zucchini & Spinach Lasagna, Red Curry Soup, Creamy Tomato Soup Florentine, Roasted & Curried Veggie Soup and Mulligatawny Soup…we love our soups! 

For day to day food recently I haven’t done a lot of cooking.  Both Eammon and I haven’t been feeling 100% and between that and our near 100 degree weather, neither of us has wanted heavy meals.  Two things that I have been eating a lot of though are my Watermelon Tomato Gazpacho and my homemade Labneh.  I also made a batch of sugar-free fig refrigerator jam which I have been mixing into the Labneh which is just freaking awesome and I’ve been eating it every.single.night. 

Tomorrow is Maisie’s school open house and she’s super excited so I guess that I should get to bed because she’ll but up bright and early anxious to go so she’ll have me up early too.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sunday fun

IMG_2109K, Maisie and A spent the entire day today together.  It was a day filled with riding their bikes & scooters, gymnastics, running around together both inside and out, dancing, games, popsicles and just being kids!  By the end of the day there were three sweaty exhausted little ones ready for bath and bed time.  Maisie was sound asleep within five minutes of getting in bed, a highly unusual thing for my little girl who usually spends an hour or more singing, talking and bouncing around.

This coming week is our last of summer break…boo hoo.  Last week we did get Maisie’s hair cut and she of course looks adorable!!  We also tried on her uniforms from last year and everything still fits, in fact all her skorts fit better as they don’t have to be cinched in as much as before.  I did get her a couple of pairs of shorts and one pair of pants so she is set for the school year.  Sad thing is, she’ll be the only 1st grader still wearing size 2 bottoms!  I have a few more items from Maisie’s school shopping list to pick up and then on Thursday we have her open house.  Maisie can’t wait to see her classmates, her classroom, her teacher Miss. Lisa and to see which desk will be hers, oh the excitement of things to come!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Briana is four!

Friends, inflatables, pizza & cake makes for a great birthday party!


Today we attended Briana’s fourth birthday party and Maisie had a blast.  IMG_2050It seems that Maisie’s fear of inflatables is a thing of the past as she was hitting them all over and over with a huge smile on her face.

IMG_2051It wasn’t just the little kids that played, big kids Doug & Eammon got into the action too, but then again they always do!

IMG_2092Birthday girl Briana.



IMG_2077Low Low




IMG_2081Emily Grace   




IMG_2102Yeah, you try getting a good picture of bounce tired and sugared up kiddos with everyone looking in one direction…it just wasn’t going to happen.  Still a great group of cuties!  Check out the pictures from Bri’s party last year to see how much some of these little ones have grown!

IMG_2106Happy 4th Birthday Briana and thank you for having us at your party, it was great fun!

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