Virginia’s Spring Wine Festival

Casey attended the Virginia Spring Wine Festival with her cousin, Makenzie.  They had a great time.  Casey purchased an assortment of wine during the festival, seen below.

Hopefully Casey will invite me along next time she goes. ;)

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Pittsburgh Visit

Tyler, Hailey, Casey, and I all went to Pittsburgh early in the summer to visit our good friends Andi and Rob.  Andi was having her wedding shower, Casey and Hailey attended.

While we were in Pittsburgh, we decided to check out some of the sites.  First was the Pittsburgh Zoo, it was a very nice zoo, but it was pretty hot that day, so hot that most of the animals were just lounging around. Tyler and Hailey loved the Elephants (there were some baby ones too)!

Secondly, we visited the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum.  This place was awesome!  They had a huge exhibit associated with the Mr. Roger’s show.  They also had several industrial exhibits; which I think were the favorites of the kids.  We spent about  an hour at the museum before heading to Andi’s shower.

We finished our trip to Pittsburgh with dinner at the P.F. Chang’s, yum!

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Jules Shepard Gluten-Free Cooking Demo

Tonight I attended a Gluten-Free Cooking demo class by Jules Shepard.  It was sponsored and organized by the State College Celiac Support Group.  The turnout was pretty good; I think there were like 30 people at the event, many familiar faces as well as many new faces.  One woman made the trip in from Pittsburgh for the demo!

Jules did a great job and showed how easy it can be to make great tasting gluten free foods.  Jules brought already made items (day before) and also showed how to make each of these items live during the demo.  This was great because we could sample each item a day after it was made… as many celiacs know, most baked goods don’t taste that great the day after you make them.  Her items were all very delicious that she had made he day before.

Jules Shepard Demonstration

Jules Shepard Demonstration

So you are probably asking yourself, what did she prepare / demo?  Well she demonstrated how to make bread in a bread machine, pierogies, graham (like)  crackers, and finally a two-layer birthday cake.  All of which were very good.  The graham crackers were the best gluten-free ones I had ever had, light and crisp!

It was also nice to hear her talk about how you could vary the recipes to get different results… like how to make ravioli using almost the same recipe as the pierogies(for the dough).  I also enjoyed hearing about bread machines and makes me want to bust mine out of the closet again to start making breads.

At the end of the evening, she had a raffle and the group attendees could win one of three items: cake batter, graham cracker dough, or pierogi dough.  I won the cake batter, so I will be making that tomorrow night!  I also bought one her books: Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating.  I definitely enjoyed the demonstration and encourage those of you that are near one of Jules’ demonstration locations to attend!

Thanks to Natures Pantry for providing water and the space for the demonstration.  Thanks to Karen from the State College Celiac Support Group for initiating and organizing this event.

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Butterflies: They are here!

Yesterday, the butterflies emerged from their transformation.  Hailey was really excited, and wanted to release them outside.  We released them in the back yard and took a few photos.

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Mother’s Day Weekend

I know, I am late posting, but that’s how it goes with kiddos.  Do I think Casey had a nice mother’s day weekend.  It all started off with cleaning the house for her on Saturday, which obviously the heavens above were please with my cleaning as they blessed us with a beautiful rainbow that afternoon. ;)

Happy Heavens Rainbow

Happy Heavens Rainbow

Casey and I enjoyed a movie later that evening, Blind side.  We both enjoyed it, check it out next time you are looking for something good.

Sunday, the kids got out their mother’s day card they made Casey, it was huge, like 1.5ft x 2 ft.  Funny how the kids area already realizing how different aspect of gifts get more reactions.  We then hurried and got everyone ready and went out for breakfast at the waffle shop on Atherton.  We knew there was going to be a line and we were prepared, snacks, toys, games, etc just to keep them entertained till we got to the table.  It was definitely the least pleasant trip to the waffle shop ever.  I know it was mother’s day, but taking like 25mins to get our food seemed a bit ridiculous.

We then went over to my grandmother’s house to visit.  We also took some flowers and a vase.  She enjoyed the flowers and got a kick out of watching Hailey and Tyler play.

Later that evening, I cooked Casey her dinner request for gluten-free Mac n Cheese with grilled rosemary balsamic vinegar chicken. And to finish off dinner I made a Cranberry Mint Martini (her new fav).

Cranberry Mint Martini

Cranberry Mint Martini

Happy Mother’s Day!

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MillBrook Marsh Nature Center Visit

Today I took the kids to the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in State College. We have never been to the place, so we decided to check it out.  It was a nice day, sunny and not too hot.  The kids loved walking on the board walk, but also enjoyed walking on the grassy paths.

We saw lots of birds, even heard a wood pecker once.  We saw fish in the streams. We also got to observe a really big ant hill.  The kids were very interested in the ant hill, since it was almost 2 feet high.  We met some nice doggies and their owners walking on the trails.

Below are a few photos we took while on our visit to Millbrook.

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Butterflies: Hailey is excited and they are growing

So Hailey asked me to show a photo of her with her gift, the butterfly garden kit.  Here she is excited about her gift and can’t wait to see how they grow.

Hailey excited about her butterfly garden kit present

Hailey excited about her butterfly garden kit present

The caterpillars at this point are about 1/2 inch long.  They are also very active, moving around and eating a lot.

Caterpillars: day 2

Caterpillars: day 2

Caterpillars: day 2

Caterpillars: day 2

Stay tuned for more butterfly updates.

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Butterflies: Package Arrived

Today my daughter’s birthday present from my sister’s family arrived.  It is an Insect Lore Butterfly Garden kit!

Butterfly Garden Kit

Butterfly Garden Kit

So basically as you can see in the image you get a container with butterfly caterpillars in it and a butterfly habitat.  The caterpillars are currently a little over 1cm long.

Caterpillars

Caterpillars

Hailey and I are going to try to post photos and descriptions every few days just to show how they are growing.  Should be exciting.

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