Thursday, March 31, 2011

Busy Bear

These are Buster's Busy Bears.

Now before you get all "yeah, those are some crazy dog people," hear me out. The mister and I don't take anything too seriously. We love to laugh and make fun of silly things, especially funny movies. Since we got Buster Boy some things have just gotten a little bit funnier. For instance, the movie Best in Show. Before we got Buster, it was just another comical Christopher Guest movie. After Buster, it's HI-larious. For those of you that haven't seen it, it's a documentary style satire about dog shows and the quirky people that show their dogs.

One of our favorite parts is when the couple with the greyhound gets all in a tizzy over the missing dog toy they call the "Busy Bee." I love that whole storyline. It's so ridiculous and awesome at the same time.

Now back to the Busy Bears. One of the first toys I bought Buster was this green bear for 99 cents I found at Target. As you can see, Busy Bear's gotten lots of lovin'.

I started calling the little green life saver "Busy Bear" as a joke because I thought it was funny. It just kind of stuck from there. Call us dorks, but we still think it's funny. And Buster loves his Busy Bear. To this day, it's still the only toy name he recognizes when we call it out. Whenever we say "Busy Bear" or "Where's your Busy Bear?" he cocks his head to the side and immediately starts looking around the room for it.

It has definitely been the best investment I've ever made - it's by far his favorite toy (maybe even more than Foxy Lady?). I bought it because I desperately needed something for him to chomp on that was durable and that we could throw around for him to fetch up. It was the perfect toy. Indestructible. It wore Buster out and I loved it.

That was until Buster figured out how he could chew off Busy Bear's ear. It was a sad day. The only toy that was able to keep Buster's interest for more than one minute was ruined. Thank goodness I had thought ahead anticipating that this day would come (surprisingly, it came later than I thought) and bought two more Busy Bears in different colors to keep it interesting. Meet Busy Bear Two.

You might notice his ear's already torn off. That happened within one week after we introduced Busy Bear Two. One week! After over 6 months of hard core playing with Busy Bear One, Buster had apparently figured it out. No one was surprised. He's a very fast learner when he wants to be. Meet Busy Bear Three.

Yup, that's right. Busy Bear Three lasted a whole ten minutes. Ten minutes! I guess we finally learned our lesson about leaving Buster alone and unattended with the Busy Bear. Poor, poor Busy Bear Three. We still use him, minus the ear, and thankfully Buster still eagerly fetches. I must say that I do love me some Busy Bear!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

M's Spring Training

For the first time, I got to go to a Mariners Spring Training game this weekend. March truly is the best month in Arizona - the weather was perfect. Mid 80s, bright and sunny. The usual, I guess. I love sports, but baseball is not one of my favorites. We usually try to make it to one Mariners game every year just to go experience the ballpark. It's a fun little outing and not too expensive if you sit in the cheap seats. The best part about the Spring Training game was just getting to be out in the sun and spend time with family.


Number 92 was our favorite guy - he didn't have his name on his jersey so we figured he was a newbie. He ended up hitting a home run to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th! I hope he made the team!

The M's ended up losing by one in extra innings. Here's hoping they have a winning season!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Apple Pie (It's So Easy!)

My mother-in-law's signature catchphrase is "It's so easy!" She is an amazing cook and baker and everything that she makes is "so easy" to make (we like to give her a hard time). She's the type that will just throw things together and what comes out looks delicious and tastes even better. I'm the opposite... I go by the book recipe. Measure exact amounts. Not a pinch more than what is asked. I am getting better though. With the help of my lovely husband (he got her cooking gene), I'm getting a little more adventurous in my cooking/baking. Here's Renee's easy recipe for Apple Pie:

6 apples (we usually mix granny smith and fuji)
3/4 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2+ tablespoon cinnamon
2 pie crusts
1-3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Thinly slice apples.
Add flour and lemon juice.

Add cinnamon and sugar.

Place one of the pie crusts in the pie dish. Use fingers to create a fancy design along the edge.

Put apple mixture into pie pan.

Take the other pie crust and lay flat on cutting board.
Use pizza cutter to cut strips about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.

Place chunks of butter on top of apple mixture (we never said this was fat free!).
Weave the strips in and out on top of the pie filling.
Use brush to spread melted butter over the top of the weaved pie crust.
Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.
Bake for one hour and there you go! It's so easy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Just What the Doctor Ordered

While today won't be the official start of my weekend, I'm still excited. Why? My in-laws are coming into town tomorrow! This makes me very happy. For some of you, the thought of spending a week with the in-laws might be daunting, but for me, it's awesome! I love my family. Tax season is pushing me to my tipping point, so it will be fun to spend this weekend and next weekend with the Kane family. It's just what the doctor ordered. On the agenda: work tomorrow morning, a little relaxing here...

...probably some yummy dinner out (yes, we might be veering off the spending diet just a little while the parentals are here... more on that next week), spring training game on Sunday, and most likely some card playing. Sounds like a perfect weekend to me! (Besides the work part) Happy weekend everybody!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


As I mentioned here, I've been listening to KLove on my way to and from work every day. I love the Christian music and how "positive and encouraging" the station is (that is their motto, after all). One of the best things about KLove is that there are little to no commercials, which means more music. Booyah!

One song I've been digging lately is SMS [Shine] by David Crowder Band. The song is so inspiring and always makes me happy. The video is equally inspiring - made in stop-motion with a Lite Brite! I can't imagine how long it took them to do this! Amazing.

P.s. Check out how they made the video here, here, here, and here. So cool.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Buster Learns to Shake

My little boy is growing up! This past weekend Z taught BBoy how to shake. It is amazing! I'm like a proud momma. I am completely in awe that my little Buster learned how to shake. I know what you're thinking - every dog can shake - but in our household, where my little Poopy (yes, I call him Poopy) has a hard time figuring out what the word NO means, or how not to chew on every book in our house even when we use the bitter apple spray, this is a huge accomplishment! Plus, it's just kind of cool.

I'm equally proud of my awesomely patient husband for teaching Buster Boo this little trick. He has an amazing amount of patience that I covet. Oh, and he uses a lot of treats.

Isn't he cute? He's such a smart little dude. 

All this talk about being a proud momma reminds me of the first (and only) time we took Buster to the dog park. Let's just say it was probably a pretty accurate foreshadowing of parenting to come. We didn't realize that there was a separate area for small dogs until we were on our way out, so the B-Man was playing with the big dogs. There were at least three other big dogs (and I'm talking BIG) out playing around with each other plus my poor little tiny Buster (I think he was about 14 pounds then). I know the other dogs were just playing, but they did not hold back! They were chasing Buster and he was too slow and kind of got trampled. Then he'd run over and stand between my legs until he built up enough courage to do it again. I have to give my little man credit. He is one tough puppy! Although I was worried he was going to get hurt. Here's how our conversation went down while we watched the doggies play:

M: They're going to trample him!
Z: He's fine. Don't worry about it.
M: Do you think he's hurt? It looks like he's limping.
Z: He's not limping. He's having fun!
M: I think they're playing too rough.
Z: No they're not. Come on Buster! Keep Up! Get back out there and show them who's boss!

And there you have it. If you want to find out what kind of parent you'll be, just get a dog and you'll know: Overprotective Mother and Rub-a-little-dirt-on-it-and-get-back-out-there Father coming right up!

What's next on the agenda for my little BBoy? Rolling over. Good thing we stocked up on treats at Costco!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Catching Up

Last weekend I was lucky enough to meet up with my fabulous friend Blair! It had been months since I'd seen her (she still lives in the Seattle area) and it was oh so fun!

Blair was staying with her family at my parents' house in Goodyear and enjoying a little spring break, Arizona style. We had a yummy lunch at the Wildflower Bread Co. (my mom's favorite Arizona eatery) and then hit up our favorite - Yogurtland

The weather was perfect (mid 80s) so we sat outside and ate our delicious frozen treat. It was so great catching up and seeing a familiar face. 

One of things I've missed the most being thousands of miles away from home, is my friends. Thankfully, last November my friends (including Blair) were awesome enough to come down and visit for a long weekend. We had a great time relaxing, catching up, and reliving our Gonzaga glory days. Oh, and we also went to Yogurtland (of course). It's just so tasty!

Thank goodness for good friends! Today is also my sister's birthday (sister-in-law to be correct). Another thing that sucks about being so far away - it makes it hard to celebrate together! Happy Birthday Bethany!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

This week the hubby had a hankering for some homemade cinnamon rolls. I'm not one to turn down a sticky bun, especially when the recipe claimed they were "Cinnabon" cinnamon rolls. Um, yes please. We started making these puppies Saturday night and then Zach woke up early yesterday morning to finish the baking (what a guy!).

Here's our version of Homemade Cinnamon Rolls:
(find the original recipe here)

1 (1/8 ounce) package dry yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 cups flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 cup cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/16 teaspoon salt

First, start with the rolls. Dissolve yeast in warm milk.
Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour. Mix well.
We used our kneading arm on our kitchen aid - it's so much easier than hand kneading!
Knead dough into large ball and put in bowl. Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. We turned the oven on Warm for about 10 minutes prior. We covered the dough and after turning the oven off again, put it in the oven to rise.
After an hour, take the dough out and roll it to about 1/4 inch think on a flat surface. 
We used lots of flour so it wouldn't stick.
Now, it's time to make the filling. 
Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. 
(Next time, we'd add a little more of the cinnamon sugar mixture)
Melt butter and spread over flattened dough.
Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on buttered dough. 
We gently used the rolling pin after to flatten it out and evenly distribute.
Roll the dough from the long end. 
We wrapped it up and put it in the fridge so we could make it first thing in the morning.

Come morning, the hubby woke up early to finish the job. I'm pretty sure he was dreaming about cinnamon rolls all night. Next he just chopped them into 1 1/2 inch chunks and put them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes (or until they were golden brown.

And finally, the icing. Beat until fluffy, butter, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt.

At this point, Buster was waiting for his momma to wake up...
When the rolls are done, spread on (generously) and there you go!
(Next time we'll probably use a 9x13 pan instead of a cookie sheet)

They were so yummy! A perfect Sunday morning treat.


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