Friday, January 25, 2013

Oh so wee and learning more than just gymnastics

photo (8)eStarting in January Maisie began a new practice schedule at her gym which keeps her there longer, and a lot later into the evening than in the past.  I had my doubts as to how she’d do with the new schedule, especially as she still has to be up early for either school or morning practice, but she’s loving it, doing amazingly well and has a new energy about her, excited after each practice.  Maisie misses practicing with her old teammates but we’re working on keeping the girls together with play dates outside of the gym and she’s beginning to find her place with her new teammates.  Maisie loves that she now practices with the big girls as they really encourage and inspire her and that definitely has contributed to her recent increased enthusiasm.  Maisie does a fabulous job keeping up with all her big teammates as well as doing everything her coaches ask of her.  By the end of each evening’s practice Maisie’s tired and ready for bed but she’s always excited to share what she learned and worked on. 

I don’t stay and watch all her practices (as they’re too long and there are too many of them) but some days I try and watch a little, either at the beginning or end of the evening.  Last night I took the above picture of the girls as they ended their practice on a positive note, all circled together and each stating what they did particularly well during practice.  I couldn’t get over just how wee Maisie is compared to all the other girls, yes I know, only coming up to their armpits.  I can’t help but think that one day, sooner than I’d like, she’ll be one of the big girls in the group.  I hope that all the love, encouragement and support that she’s receiving from her big teammates, she’ll take, remember, and give the same to other little gymnasts.   

photo (9)This picture of the girls around the chalk bin is from Monday but I swear, this is such a common sight as the girls spend crazy amounts of time chalking their grips, over & over & over.  I think that the girls spend more time at the chalk bin than on the bars, sometimes it’s amazing that they leave their beloved chalk bin and get on the bars at all.

With all of Maisie’s hours in the gym, I have to make sure that she gets in all the protein and calories that her body needs.  Dumplings are one of her favorite foods and a great way to get that protein into her, but with her allergies I have to make special Pork Dumplings with Rice Wrappers which though delicious, are extremely time consuming to make.  Maisie’s been asking for dumplings and after thinking about it I realized that it was the flavors of the filling which she most enjoyed, not the wrapper.  So thinking about dumplings without wrappers, I came up with a new and delicious recipe for Chicken Dumpling Patties which have all the dumpling flavors, the protein which Maisie needs, are simple and quick to make, travel well in her lunch bag and are just downright delicious.  I’ll be making these Chicken Dumpling Patties for my wee little girl on a regular basis as she and all of us adore these wrapper-free dumplings.  Click on the link or the picture to be taken to Cook Lisa Cook and the recipe.

Chicken Dumpling Patties

More delicious chicken recipes on Cook Lisa Cook include:  Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole, Slimmed Down Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole, Copycat “KFC” Original Recipe Fried Chicken, Chinese Five Spice Wings, Chicken Satay Noodle Salad, Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken, Cilantro Lime Chicken, Red Curry Chicken, Curried Roast Chicken Pieces with Spicy Sweet Potato & Carrots, “Rotisserie” Chicken, Cheaters Chicken Soup, Thai Chicken Noodle Soup, Fire Roasted Tomato and Chicken Tortilla Soup, Tom Kha Gai, Chicken Tenders, Grilled Thai Chicken, Curried Grilled Thai Chicken Salad, Mom’s Curried Chicken Salad, Fruit, Nut & Poppy Seed Chicken Salad, Slow Cooker Chicken Curry, Home Style Chicken Curry, Texas Chicken with Lime Butter, Texas Chicken Sandwich, Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwich, Oriental Chicken Salad and Thai Peanut Salad.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Trying on a new look

photo eMaisie and I visited the eye doc this morning and it seems that Maisie, just like Eammon and I, will now be bespectacled.

photo (8) eShe had fun trying on every.single.pair of kids glasses that the store offered and she of course had to see how they looked with both plain and funny faces.  In two weeks or less Maisie will have her new glasses and she’ll be seeing the world in a whole new way…clearly!

Are you a Buffalo Chicken lover?  If yes, have you ever tried Buffalo Cauliflower?  Well if you’ve never tried it, let me tell you that my new recipe for Baked (not fried) Buffalo Cauliflower is freaking amazing!!  I had my doubts when I first made it, especially with the batter on the cauliflower as I’m not a batter person but I really, really love it.  When baked onto the cauliflower the batter was crunchy in places and had a nice chewy texture in other places and it also had a wonderful tangy, garlic flavor…what’s not to love?  What a perfect, healthier option for Superbowl or anytime you want an appetizer or snack.  For the real buffalo lovers, pair this Buffalo Cauliflower with my Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings and everyone can get their spicy Buffalo fix without the greasy fried versions.  Click on the picture or link to be taken to Cook Lisa Cook and the recipe.

Buffalo Cauliflower

Other delicious appetizers posted on Cook Lisa Cook include:  Chinese Five Spice Wings, Crab Cake Stuffed Mushrooms, Sweet Italian Sausage & Roasted Chestnut Stuffed Mushrooms, Lacy Cheese Crackers, Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings, Slow Cooker Ranch Mushrooms, Crispy Zucchini Chips, Fried Green Tomatoes, Bacon & Cheese Zucchini Fritters, Chicken Tenders, Strawberry Soup, Broiled Sushi, Pork Dumplings with Rice Wrappers, Rum Cured Salmon, Aloo Tikki, Jamaican Jerk Meat Pies, Pesto Pita Pizza, Spicy Brown Sugar Bacon, Grilled Prawns, Wicked Good New England Lobster Rolls, Holy Guacamole, Grilled Corn, Avocado & Tomato Salad with Honey Lime Dressing, Lasagna Soup and BBQ Chicken Quesadillas.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Disney Y.E.S. 2013

Every other year the children at Maisie’s school have the opportunity to travel to Disney World and participate the Disney Y.E.S. (youth education series)Maisie participated in the program two years ago when she was a wee first grader and returned this year as a big third grader. 

image (1)b e After spending the weekend at my parents home and meeting up with some bloggy friends, Monday afternoon we made our way to the Happiest Place on Earth.  We checked into our hotel and then headed over to Animal Kingdom where we stayed until the park closed…yet I took not a single picture!

Early Tuesday morning my Mom and I dropped Maisie off at Epcot for her class and then once she finished we had fun together exploring the park. 

photo (18)Other than Soarin’ and Spaceship Earth, Maisie didn’t care for any of the other rides but she did enjoy strolling through the different countries and watching the surround movie about China.

photo (20)eMaisie and her faces, being silly as we were wandering around.

photo (19)Maisie’s not really into any of the characters but for some reason wanted to take a picture with Tigger & Pooh and as there wasn’t really a line, we figured, why not!

photo (17)For dinner we headed over to Downtown Disney.  Maisie loves dinosaurs and we thought dinner at T-Rex might be fun but once she heard the noise level and saw the dinosaurs moving she decided that she wanted something different.

photo (16)So we strolled down to Fulton's Crab House where we enjoyed a fabulous view of the sunset as we dined.

photo (14)Wednesday was a free day and we spent the entire day at The Magic Kingdom.  The weather was comfortable, we got one tiny little rain shower which passed within minutes.  The park was really quite empty with hardly any lines for the rides Maisie wanted to get on.  Even at Space Mountain, which Maisie & my mom rode and hated, but which I loved it and rode a few times, it had only a 30 minute wait in the regular line. Maisie's favorite rides, all which she rode numerous times, were the race cars, tea cups, Small World & the carousel, she’s not a real daredevil when it comes to rides.

photo (15)Grandma & Maisie on Dumbo.

photo (12)Grandma & Maisie on one of their many turns in the teacups.

photo (13)Maisie adored the race cars.

photo (11)Especially turning the wheel side to side so to bump the metal rail as hard and often as possible.

photo (10)Yeah…she was all smiles and liked Buzz until the shooting in the dark began.

photo (9)Back on the race cars.

photo (7)Maisie ready to get Mama dizzy.

photo (6)As I stated, there were no lines so Maisie rode the carousel six or seven times in a row, never even having to get off.  She had fun!

photo (5)Cinderella’s Castle was beautiful all lit up with Christmas lights.  After 12 hours in the Kingdom we were exhausted, ready to call it a night and get in bed, especially because Maisie had class in the morning and I had to chaperone. photo (4)Thursday’s class was again at Epcot and as I was chaperoning I snapped a couple of pictures.

photo (3)Rose, Maisie and Brooke learning about synergy and working on one of their projects.

photo (2)The group’s final synergy project.  Once class ended Maisie wanted to head back to the Magic Kingdom but not before a final ride on Soarin’

imageand another visit to Spaceship Earth.

photo (1)We took the monorail over to The Magic Kingdom as Maisie wanted to revisit a few of her favorite rides again but we ended up spending the entire afternoon.

photo (21)We happened upon Mickey, Maisie’s second and final character picture of the trip.

photo (8)Maisie and classmate Jesse spinning his mom and I as fast as possible on the tea cups.

photoAt the end of our day on the monorail ride from the Magic Kingdom back to our car at Epcot, we were lucky enough to have four nice young men from Capital Force, who were there for a competition, serenade us.  What a treat and a nice way to end our visit.

Unlike so many of our bloggy friends, we’re not huge Disney fans so we didn’t plan our time after her classes to see and do as much as possible.  Maisie’s not into meeting & greeting all the characters, she’s not thrilled by most of the rides and she had no interest in doing any of the special events or meals.  She did though enjoy her time at the parks and her classes but even not doing everything or any of the extra magic hours, it was still exhausting and we’re all glad to be home.  Of course if her school goes again in 2015, we may just have to do Disney again.  I will say that one huge advantage I have in taking Maisie to the parks is that, because she has no interest in all things Disney, other than a daily frozen lemonade or slushy drink, the girl asks for NOTHING!!  No mouse ears, no pins, no light-up-twirly-thing-a-ma-jigs, no cr@p being brought home, nothing!!  I love my girl!

With Maisie having to get to her classes early and with her allergies, it was easier to have a cooler with us and just eat breakfast in the room.  I made these Cranberry Almond Oat Breakfast Cookies which were not only wonderful to have for breakfast but made a nice snack anytime of the day.  What’s terrific about these cookies is that not only are they totally delicious but they’re really healthy as they contain no added sugar or fat and they don’t contain egg, flour or dairy so they’re Maisie “safe”.  Please click on the link or the picture to be taken to Cook Lisa Cook and the recipe.

Cranberry Almond Oat Breakfast Cookies


Monday, January 07, 2013

Meeting new friends on our way to Disney

Every other year Maisie’s school participates in the Disney Y.E.S. (youth education series) where the children actually participate in classes at the various Disney theme parks.  Maisie attended two years ago as a first grader and is now back as a big third grader, ready to experience and learn new and exciting things.  Maisie and I headed down to my parent’s home Friday morning after her gymnastics practice so that we would have time to spend with them and also time to meet up with some bloggy pals whom we’ve been corresponding with for eight or so years, though we’ve never met in person…and we couldn’t wait to remedy that situation. 

Saturday afternoon Maisie and I finally met up with Alyson, Ford & cutie-patootie Alyzabeth An.  It was so nice to finally meet in person, sit and chat and the girls enjoyed their time together eating their dinner, watching a video and eating huge puffs of cotton candy for dessert.

photo (9)Two little ChongQing cuties!

image wSugaring them up with cotton candy puffs bigger than their heads!

photo (7)Showing off their blue tongues and yes-they-did finish every.last.drop of their cotton candy.

photo (5)Hugs good-bye.  (photo by Alyson & Ford) 

photo (6)The girls.  (photo by Alyson & Ford)

image fNo longer just cyber friends.  (photo by Alyson & Ford)

Sunday Maisie and I had fun hanging out at The Villages with my parents and tooling around in their golf cart and then Monday on our way to Disney, it was time to meet up with Lori, little-gymnast-Qiao and Lori’s grand daughter ‘K’.

photo (1)Three little sweeties, ‘K’, Qiao & Maisie.

image (1)eMore new in-person friends.  ‘K’, Lori, Qiao, Lisa & Maisie.

It was so nice to finally meet everyone in person and Maisie and I can’t wait to meet up again, hopefully sooner than it took us the first time.

image (1)b eAfter we left Lori and the girls we headed over to Disney where Maisie, my Mom and I will spend the next few days having fun at the parks and classes for Maisie.

Today is Secret Recipe Club reveal day and this month’s recipe is for delicious Creamy Mints.  Super easy to make and no real cooking involved!  My mom and I made these just before Thanksgiving and I thought that they’d last through the holiday but we gobbled them up in just a few days because every time one of us passed by them we just couldn’t resist popping one or two into our mouths.  Click on the link or the picture to be taken to Cook Lisa Cook and the recipe.

Creamy Mints

Other sweet recipes posted on Cook Lisa Cook include: Toll House Double Stuff Oreo Brownies, Math Book No Bake Cookies, Piggy-Out Cookies, 24-Layer Crêpe Cake, Spicy Brown Sugar Bacon, Kicked Up Piggy-Out Cookies, Nutella Crêpes, Mango, Lime & Chile Spiced Ice Box Pie, Nutella No Bake Cookies, Welsh Cakes, Lime Jewels, Walnut Roca Squares, Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps, Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies, Happy 6th Birthday Maisie Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies, Thin Mint Irish Coffee, Caramel Apples, Mango Upside Down Cake, Pink Strawberry Cake Balls, Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake, Apple Dumplings, Apple, Cranberry & Rhubarb Crisp, Crunchy Oat, Almond, Cashew & Pebbles Granola Bars, Biscoff Fudge, Oatmeal, Cashew & Chocolate Granola Bars, Glazed Lemon Squares, Maisie “safe” No Bake Cookies, Ponderosa Lemon & Sour Cream Tart, Dark Chocolate Dipped Candied Lemon Peel, Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites, Double Chocolate Meyer Lemon Mousse Cake, Malted Pretzel Crunch, Apple Pancakes, Health(ier) Peanut Brittle, Skinny Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars, Strawberry Soup, Mango Melon Banana & Chia Smoothie, Dried Cherry Almond Tart, Double Chocolate Mousse Cake, Mini Cheesecake Bites, S’mores Granola Bars, Marshmallow Pops, Crockpot Baked Stuffed Apples, White Chocolate Marshmallow Cranberry Cashew Bark and Sweet Potato Cranberry Nut Cookies.


Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Year’s Eve and that’s my girl!

photo eMaisie, Eammon and I rang in the new year celebrating in our pajamas (the same ones from NYE 2011) at our neighbor’s NYE pj’s party.  It was an evening filled with good friends, great food and fun times.  Maisie just, and I mean *just* made it to midnight because during the last eight minutes before the ball dropped she started to fade.  Considering she had been up since 6am, was at the gym for a practice at 7:30am, ran around outside for hours in the afternoon with *A*  and then ran around all evening with all the party-going kids, she did great and hung on.  She saw the ball drop, sipped her sparkling cider at midnight, watched less than 5 minutes of fireworks and by 12:20am the three of us were snuggled in bed with Eammon and Maisie already fast asleep. 

The other day I went to take a picture with my iPhone but it wouldn’t let me as it said I was out of room.  This surprised me as I really don’t take that many photos with my phone so I took a look and saw that while *I* don’t take all that many photos, Maisie does.  Almost 3,000 pictures and videos and her favorite subject…well that would be Maisie!  I have to say, my girl can be quite silly and she sure has a personality!  I have cleared many of the pictures off but wanted to keep some that just struck my fancy.  All of these photos were taken by Maisie, during our recent vacation in Aruba

photo (13)photo (1)photo (15)photophoto (9)photo (7)photo (11)photo (4)photo (5)photo (10)photo (6)photo (12)photo (21)photo (14)photo (16)photo (17)photo (18) photo (20)photo (22) photo (23) photo (24)photo (25)And that’s my Maisie!

Today over on Cook Lisa Cook I posted a recipe for Sweet Potato Cranberry Nut Cookies, a recipe that my my Mom has been asking for since I made it with leftover sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving.  These cookies are almost a cross between a cookie and a muffin and I especially enjoyed these cookies warmed slightly in the microwave and topped with with a pat of butter.  Click on the picture or the link to be taken to Cook Lisa Cook and the recipe.

Sweet Potato Cranberry Nut Cookies

More delicious cookie recipes posted on Cook Lisa Cook including:  Tri-color Cookies, Oatmeal Coconut Raspberry BarsMrs. Ogle’s Tarts, Chocolate Mint Brownies, Lemon Squares, Toll House Double Stuff Oreo Brownies, Math Book No Bake Cookies, Piggy-Out Cookies, Kicked Up Piggy-Out Cookies, Zucchini Lemon Cookies, Nutella No Bake Cookies, Lime Jewels, Walnut Roca Squares, Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps, Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies, Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies, Pink Strawberry Cake Balls, Crunchy Oat, Almond, Cashew & Pebbles Granola Bars, Biscoff Fudge, Cashew & Chocolate Granola Bars, Glazed Lemon Squares, Maisie “safe” No Bake Cookies, Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites, Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars, Mini Cheesecake Bites, S’mores Granola Bars.


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