Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Play date & pit bar

1044478_10151751179501663_2103475513_nAfter practice today Maisie’s friend Kate met us at the gym and came back to the house for a play date.  The girls wanted to go to the pool but we had on-and-off showers all afternoon with rumbles of thunder and our pool closes for 30 minutes after each rumble of thunder so they had to find other things to keep themselves occupied.  The play date began with snacks (lunch for Maisie after her practice) and a video as it was raining outside. 

1016119_10151751329881663_1992998265_nThe girls played in the house and in Maisie’s gym.  Once the rain stopped the girls rode scooters for a bit but decided they were hot so they went outside to make rain themselves with the hose.

1044893_10151751326346663_1743895308_nThey didn’t want to play outside in their swim suits in the rain because they didn’t want to get wet…but then happily sprayed one another with the hose.

1044898_10151751364421663_417299002_nWith two little gymnasts in the house they of course had to spread the mats through the living room and do what they love the most…gymnastics.  

photo eTwo cutie girls saying goodbye at the end of their afternoon together.

Yesterday at the gym Maisie was working on the pit bar.  Here she is practicing her kip, cast to handstand, baby giant and fly away.

Since this post is all about Maisie, I decided to do something all about Maisie over on Cook Lisa Cook.  Today I posted a new recipe for Easy White Corn Tortilla Pizza which I make especially for Maisie, so two Maisie specific posts today.  This White Corn Tortilla Pizza is simple to make and Maisie “safe” as it doesn’t contain wheat, egg or dairy.  Even if you’re not gluten, egg or dairy free, this is a simple and easy way to make pizza and you can adjust the toppings to fit your tastes and desires.  Click on the link or the picture to be taken to Cook Lisa Cook and the recipe.

Easy White Corn Tortilla Pizza

More pizza recipes on Cook Lisa Cook include:  Cauliflower Crust Pizza, Blacksmith Pizza and Pesto Pita Pizza.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Catching up on June

10072_10151702359306663_37281707_n eI am trying here, trying to get caught up with my blogging.  As this is Maisie’s scrap book, I really need to keep it going and up to date otherwise there will be no pictures or stories for her to look back on one day.  I did my major catch up post of the things that kept us busy in May so now to catch up to present day.  June began with a little time off as Maisie’s gym was closed for a few days before her team camp, so we took full advantage of the rare days off.  Maisie and I spent some days biking along the Silver Comet Trail.  It’s an easy ride along the trail, shaded and pretty flat which is great for Maisie as she doesn’t have any gears. 

941427_10151703996556663_625045190_n e Play dates, Maisie wanted play dates!!  Her first was at Alyssa’s home where the girls spent time at the pool and riding their bikes.  When I arrived to pick Maisie up, the girls were in matching outfits and each girl matched her bike.  Such little cuties!  Before we left Alyssa’s the girls decided what they were going to wear the following day when the play date was at our home.

photo (8)ePlay date number 2 and the girls match again!  They had written out a full schedule of all the activities they wanted to do together and over the course of the day they accomplished their entire list.  First up, make-up!!

601233_10151705634551663_291988947_n eThankfully time in the sprinkler and water play came next as it helped wash off the less than subtle make-up.

photo eA little time relaxing in the sun, enjoying a snack and having their personal talk time.

photo (1) eThey did make-up so of course they had to do their hair as well.  The girls enjoyed two days together and when it was time to say goodbye they didn’t want to leave one another.  So nice having good friends.

657_10151707509276663_1857711459_n,jpg eThe next play date was not only for Maisie but for me too as it was a day out at Lisa & Briana’s home.  We arrived at Lisa’s home and the girls immediately disappeared up to Briana’s play room.  It wasn’t until they got hungry that we heard from them.  After lunch the girls enjoyed some popsicles and then after a little more inside play they decided to play outside in the sprinklers.

IMG_1927 aa eI still haven’t figured this one out but the girls love to play with umbrellas in the sprinkler to avoid getting wet.  

IMG_1933 (1)  aa eLisa filled a bucket with water, I think to fill squirt toys but Maisie decided that she needed to sit in it and not to be left out, Bri too needed a bucket so the two of them could sit in buckets of water…I’m telling you, they are fun and silly girls!

936945_10151976219613448_900573315_n,jpg eAfter a few days off it was finally time for team camp.  

photo (2) eMaisie with the guest coaches and her summer training group.

947270_10151712999671663_1821617242_nAt the end of the first camp day the younger gymnasts went bowling where Maisie had a blast hanging with her friends.

996149_10151713005236663_2005292618_nAfter bowling I took Alyssa & Maisie out for pizza as Uncle Maddio’s (which has gluten free & vegan Maisie “safe” pizza) was right around the corner and the girls were starving.

936430_10151719856181663_1354443551_n eFirst day of summer practice schedule and Maisie was happy to be back at the gym with her teammates.

969722_10151469502499205_1815169289_nWe had some big storms pass though the area.  Thankfully we were safe, just some overturned plants & patio furniture but from our family room windows we could see the top of the tornado as it hit just a couple of streets away from us.

206898_10151725055896663_2080447672_nWhen we realized that the tornado was so close we donned our bike helmets and took cover.

Maisie had a couple other play dates at friend’s homes but not piccies  :-(

I really haven’t seen Maisie do much tumbling on the floor so it was great to see her do round-off, double back handspring, back tuck.  She makes it look oh-so easy!

Now that I’m caught up to date with my postings, hopefully I’ll stay caught up!

Believe it or not, I posted another new recipe on my other currently neglected blog, Cook Lisa Cook.  This recipe is for Cheesy Cauli Mashed “Potatoes”, a delicious lower carb version of traditional mashed potatoes and just as delicious.  Click on the link or the picture to be taken to the recipe.

Cheesy cauli mashed potatoes

More delicious cauliflower recipes on Cook Lisa Cook include:   Buffalo Cauliflower, Cauliflower with Seared Peppers and Caramelized Onions & Garlic, Cauliflower Crust Pizza, Cauli-Rice, Roasted Cauliflower & Aloo Gobi.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

With my lack of posting you’d think that we did nothing in May

IMG_7198e2 I really can’t put my finger on why I have been so neglectful with this blog but considering that it took me a month and a half to post about our cruise, I certainly have become good at not posting.  I think I’ve also become “good” at not taking pictures with my good camera, opting instead for convenience and just using my iPhone.  I’m not happy with the iPhone pictures so I need to get better about pulling out and using my camera again.  By my lack of posing you’d think that we’ve had nothing going on but in reality we’ve been busy and between being busy and tired, I just haven’t had the time to sit down at the computer and write a post.  I’m trying to get caught up and be better about posting…we’ll see what happens! 

So what kept us so busy and tired in May? 

IMG_7128e2 We finished up our most recent transatlantic cruise and spent a few days touring around Barcelona before returning home. 

photo (3) Once back home we experienced major jetlag.  Maisie spent a few days barely making it to 10am before needing a nap but we did the best we could getting back into Maisie’s normal schedule.

photoe2 Maisie had her post-op appointment for her recent sinus surgery.  Things are looking really good and this surgery produced a huge improvement in her congestion problems.  Hopefully her sinus issues are a thing of the past and no more surgeries for my girl!

photo (2) As the weather turned gorgeous here in Georgia, spending evenings outside hanging out with neighbors K & A became the norm again.

photo8e12 After our return home, Maisie had two weeks left of third grade.  She had a fantastic year and was sad to see it end and will miss her friends over the summer but she’s extremely excited to now be a rising 4th grader.

971648_10200743546864914_1174038146_n Maisie attended her friend Alyssa’s 8th birthday party.  The party was a sleepover but Maisie planned to only stay until 10PM. (photo from Alyssa’s Mom)

Maisie and BraydenAs the evening got late and Maisie’s not one to slow down, when the girls decided to watch a movie, Maisie instead chose to challenge Alyssa’s older brother to a game of chess.  (photo from Alyssa’s Mom)

photo (1) Maisie and I met up with Judy and “my” Nathaniel for dim sum one Sunday morning.  I can’t believe how big he’s gotten!

photoMaisie returned to and continues her morning gymnastics practices.  The girls have fun together and sometimes just get silly. 

935247_10151687475456663_219763102_nMaisie lost her third tooth, eleven months after losing her first tooth

432075_10151693555701663_1410272644_n Maisie and I enjoyed many nice days and evenings biking along the Chattahoochee. 

photo (4) And Maisie became addicted to slushies.  I guess after 4 – 6 hours of conditioning and training in a warm gym, a nice icy cold drink is greatly appreciated. 

Maisie had a few other play dates and activities in the mix but sadly no pictures, bad Mama!  All-in-all Maisie had a fun and good month of May. 

Today is my Improv Cooking Challenge reveal day over on Cook Lisa Cook and the two required ingredients for this month’s challenge are fish & chips.  For the challenge I decided to make some very easy and tasty Salt & Vinegar Chip Crab Cakes which were a huge success with all of us, so the recipe’s a keeper!!    Click on the link or the picture to be taken to Cook Lisa Cook and the recipe.


More Improv Cooking Challenge recipes available on Cook Lisa Cook:

May 2013  Cinnamon & SugarCinnamon Bun Cookie Bars  
April 2013  Bacon & Eggs:  Mini Bacon & Swiss Quiche Cups 
March 2013  Carrots & Peas:  Mom’s Beef Vegetable Soup 
February 2013  Hearts & Flours:  Three Ingredient Fudgy Nutella Brownie Bites
January 2013  Bananas & Nutmeg:  Baked Bananas 
December 2012  Chocolate & Marshmallows:  White Chocolate Marshmallow Cranberry Cashew Bark    
November 2012  Sweet Potatoes & honey: Sweet Potato Glass Noodles with Honey Garlic Lime Shrimp 
October 2012  Oatmeal & RaisinsS’mores Granola Bars   
September 2012  Zucchini & Brown Sugar:  Zucchini with Onion & Brown Sugar 
August 2012  Tomatoes & Peppers:  French Fries Hash Browns 
July 2012  Corn & Butter:  Fritos Crusted Pollock 
June 2012  Cherries & Almonds:  Dried Cherry Almond Tart 
May 2012  Strawberries & Cream:  Strawberry Soup 
April 2012  Peanut butter & Jelly:  Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars 
March 2012  Potato & Cheese:  Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole 
February 2012  Ginger & Carrots:  Shrimp & Avocado Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing 
January 2012 Lemon & Sour Cream:  Ponderosa Lemon & Sour Cream Tart 
December 2011 Eggnog & Cranberries:  Eggnog Popovers with Cranberry Butter 
November 2011 Pumpkin & Cream Cheese:  Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake
October 2011 Caramel & Apples:  Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies


Monday, June 17, 2013

Barcelona 2013

922830_520888091307825_1597180436_n eI don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get all of our cruise photos up on the blog, I just can’t seem to sit down at the computer these days but finally, the last of our 2013 transatlantic cruise posts. 

Barcelona was our final port and I was so excited as we planned to spend a few extra days visiting this beautiful city.  Maisie and I visited Barcelona back in 2010 as it was the final port-of-call for our Disney cruise.  My one regret from our last visit was that we only spent one day there before flying home.  I knew better this time so we planned some extra days and I was excited to see more of the city.

photo (65)eOnce we disembarked from the ship we made our way to our hotel and then met up with Maisie’s friend Mahe and her family.  We spent a nice afternoon together walking the city.  We started by strolling along Las Ramblas, seeing all the human statues.

photo (63)eWe enjoyed a nice lunch together and of course had to have some paella.

944358_520888547974446_1573499196_n e and just a small Sangria.  :)   

photo (12)eMahe and Maisie keeping themselves and the adults laughing.

photo (57)eAs we walked around the city Eammon found a place that called to him.

photo (13)eAnd I found “my” store.

photo (55)eOn our way to the Plaça de la Catedral.

photo (51)eMahe & Maisie in the Plaça de la Catedral directly in front of the Catedral.

photo (17)eEammon just HAD to have his picture taken in front of this bar.

375050_520889791307655_950916183_n eCuties Mahe & Maisie feeding the birds in Plaça de Catalunya.

247564_520889764640991_1374286863_n eThe girls and the Dads taking a break before we went our separate ways for the night.

946173_520889794640988_1695362428_n e Each family had plans for our days in Barcelona so we wouldn’t be seeing Mahe and her parents again so the girls hugged good-bye and promised to see each other one day soon.

IMG_7128eOn our second day we decided to take a tour of the city.  Back in 2010 Maisie and I toured Barcelona with Trixi Tours and it was such a fun, wonderful and up close way to see the city, we just had to do it again.    

IMG_7130eOne spoiled pooch but what a nice ride!

IMG_7134eOur guide/driver Alejandro took us to our first stop, La Casa dels Entremesos to see the gegants i capgrossos.

IMG_7132eIt was so interesting seeing the giants up close.

IMG_7133eIMG_7137eWe continued our travels along the roads to the Arc de Triomf at the entrance to Parc de la Ciutadell which was built for the 1888 Universal Exposition.

IMG_7141eLa Sagrada Familia is one of Gaudi's most famous works in Barcelona. It's a giant temple that has been under construction since 1882 and it's not expected to be completed for at least another 20 years.  Honestly the only difference that I noticed from our visit 3 years ago was that Maisie looks three years older.  La Sagrada Familia, to me, looked just the same.

IMG_7139eThe newer side of La Sagrada Familia.

IMG_7144eI wish that I knew the name of this building as it was so interesting.  This picture is of one facade, ornate and pretty…

IMG_7145eand the other facade, colorful and highly decorated.  I think we were told that it was an apartment building.

IMG_7146eGaudi’s Casa Milà.

IMG_7147eGaudi’s Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gracia. The building was designed by Gaudi for Josep Batlló, a wealthy aristocrat, as an upmarket home. The Batlló family lived in the lower two floors and rented out the upper floor apartments.  From the outside the façade of Casa Batlló looks like it has been made from skulls and bones. The "Skulls" are in the balconies and the "bones" are supporting pillars.

IMG_7149eThe building next to Casa Batlló, not by Gaudi but just as interesting.

IMG_7150eMany buildings had depictions of Sant Jordi slaying a dragon.  Sant Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia.  When Maisie and visited Barcelona in 2010, it was actually La Diada de Sant Jordi (Saint George's Day) and the streets were packed with people celebrating the day.

IMG_7151eA building built into the remains of a Roman viaduct.

IMG_7154eOne of the narrow streets that we traveled in our Trixi cab.

IMG_7155eOn our way down to the Port Vell we stopped at Santa Maria del Mar.

IMG_7156eView from Port Vell.

IMG_7157eThe beach looked lovely but too cold for this gal.

IMG_7158eBecause Eammon was so interested in the Roman walls, Alejandro brought us back to the Trixi Tours office as the back wall of their space was a 2,000 year old Roman wall.   (Maisie, Eammon and our wonderful guide Alejandro)

IMG_7159eTower of a Roman wall in Plaça dels Traginers.

photo (27)eAn interesting fountain in Plaça de Sant Just.

IMG_7161eOn our third day and final full day in Barcelona we decided to visit Park Güell where we ended up spending most of the day.

IMG_7162eThe grand staircase leading to the Hipóstila room.

IMG_7163eOne of the buildings at the main entrance to the park,

IMG_7165eMaisie on the Grand staircase with the famous Gaudi lizard.

IMG_7168eLooking down the Grand stairway to toward the main entrance.

IMG_7169eCeiling of the Hipóstila room.

IMG_7175eMaisie in Nature Square, sitting on world's longest bench, a colourful, serpentine creation designed by Gaudí's creative partner Jujol.

IMG_7204eView of Nature Square, the serpentine bench runs all along the edge and views of Barcelona in the background.

IMG_7172eCarob’s viaduct from Nature Square.

IMG_7176eWalking along one of the many paths.

IMG_7177eVery interesting plants.  The little “thorn” in the center of each leaf isn’t a thorn at all, just tender leaf.

IMG_7178eBeautiful day and paths to enjoy.

IMG_7180eMaisie posing just because she wanted to.

IMG_7182eView of Temple de Sagrat Cor on the summit of Mount Tibidabo.

IMG_7184eMaisie in front of Planter’s viaduct

IMG_7186eTuró de les tres creus

IMG_7195eView of La Sagrada Familia from Turó de les tres creus.

IMG_7198eMy beautiful Maisie on the base of the Turó de les tres creus.

IMG_7201eMaisie found some interesting trees.

IMG_7202eAnother interesting tree.

IMG_7212e Gaudi House Museum

IMG_7206eGaudi House Museum

IMG_7205ePlanter’s viaduct

IMG_7213ePlanter’s viaduct

IMG_7214eBelow Planter's viaduct

IMG_7215eOn top of Planter’s viaduct

IMG_7219eTop of Planter’s viaduct

IMG_7220eMore views of Planter’s viaduct

IMG_7218eMaisie sitting in one of the coves along Planter’s viaduct

IMG_7226eCarob’s viaduct

photo (32)eWhen Maisie and I visited Barcelona back in 2010 we met up with fellow  China adoptive mom, Fina.  Fina and I have been corresponding since we each received our referral for WanZhou girls back in November 2006 and we had hoped to meet in China but Fina traveled to get her Abril a week after we met Maisie so that meeting never happened.  When Maisie and I were last in Barcelona we weren’t able to meet Fina’s daughter Abril but this time we were able to meet up with Fina, meet her husband and finally meet Abril.  Unfortunately Fina doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak Spanish or Catalan so I’m thankful for translation software as we sat in the lobby of our hotel and used technology to help us communicate.   Hopefully next time we meet I’ll have learned some Spanish and Fina some English.  Even with our difficulty communicating it was wonderful to meet again.

photo (30)eTwo WanZhou beauties.

We had a wonderful time in Barcelona and on our entire trip.  I’ll tell you though, it took us almost a full week to recover from our travels and the jetlag.  Even though it took time to “recover” from our trip, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  We met wonderful friends, enjoyed relaxing sea days, had wonderful food and some fabulous days in port.  No new cruises on the horizon but I know that we’ll be cruising again and hopefully soon!

Eammon recently put in a request for one of his favorite meals, Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole so I decided to make it and feature it again here on Moments with Maisie.  This casserole is so simple and delicious and it’s always a huge hit every time it’s made.  Click on the link or the picture to be taken to Cook Lisa Cook and the recipe.


Other buffalo-ed foods, delicious appetizers and casseroles on Cook Lisa Cook include:  Loaded Buffalo Chicken Texas Toast, Buffalo Cauliflower, Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings, Slimmed Down Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole, Chinese Five Spice Wings, Chicken Dumpling Patties, Crab Cake Stuffed Mushrooms, Sweet Italian Sausage & Roasted Chestnut Stuffed Mushrooms, Lacy Cheese Crackers, 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, Corn SouffléGrilled Corn & Bacon Pudding, Slimmed Down Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken CasseroleSweet Potato Casserole, Baked Macaroni & Cheese and Baked Reuben Casserole.


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