Archive | July, 2012

Long Lost Friends & Family

19 Jul

Last week was full of the wonder if facebook and e mail. Through Facebook, I learned that I live in the same neighborhood as a few high school friends and they are now family with each other. Small world. Another crazy coincidence, one of them lives practically next door to where I taught cooking camp. Therefore we hooked up with them for a play-date. When Missy Mack and I arrived, their cousins were there to play too. Their cousins are children of a good friend from high school too! It was wild watching all these long time friend’s children play together.


Next, my aunt e mailed. We haven’t seen anyone from my dad’s side of the family in 3 years. Missy Mack got to meet her 4 year old cousin, Layla Grace and her newest cousin, Ashton. We had lunch and then later went over for a swim and dinner in their Austin home.




Since its been 6 years since my dad died, it is crazy to see my uncle and how much he looks like my dad. Freaks me out and makes me smile.

Yesterday, we met Coco & TM for the Katy Perry movie. At first, I was thinking I would hate it, but I would sacrifice my embarrassment for my daughter’s love for KP. However, I loved the movie, I loved listening to TM & Missy Mack sing every word to each song, I love seeing the KP story and the concert was just amazing. The girls were dancing and having a great time!

This week, I also had two swim play-dates with a long time friend at her parent’s beautiful lake home.

Missy Mack and her friend thought this would be a good idea. It didn’t happen, but it was funny that they tried.

Then we met Mamma To the A’s at a mini water park for water park joy and then water park burn. I am a crispy tomato, who is very sun sick, but it was fun.

Missy Mack rode this crazy water slide

And our friend got this great underwater picture.


Summer Cooking Camp

13 Jul

This week, Missy Mack and I went to Cook, Learn & Grow Cooking Camp with Chef Lori. I taught and Missy Mack was a camper who helped us set up and take down camp each day. The theme this summer was The Farmer’s Market. Lori brought tent, flags and fresh fruits and veggies.

The kids started the week doing a Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt and ended by making their own garden to grow their own fresh veggies. They shopped the market putting their math skills to the test and did some great science by putting freezing and boiling into action. We were busy, busy, busy. Each day was like a whirlwind. At the end of the week all the kids, including mine, tried many things they would normally turn their nose up to and add some new things they could help with in the kitchen.

We had fun!

cherry pitting for cheesecake parfait

They shucked corn, boiled it, made their own butter and chowed down on some fresh corn!

Making home made ravioli and Mariana sauce

We talked about the growing process, journal-ed about it and made our own gardens so we can grow the the tomatoes and basil that go into the Mariana sauce we learned to make.

These kids even touched raw meat to make meatloaf cupcakes (meatloaf mixture in a cupcake tin and ‘frosted’ with mashed potatoes). The faces the kids made were great!

Of course we made Apple Pie and Hand Shaken Ice Cream

I love that each day they got to take something home that they made like homemade pickles, homemade strawberry jam and their garden.

They had key lime tarts

The kids also learned about composting and made edible compost (this might have been a favorite of the day).

Other things we cooked that are not pictured:

Fish Sticks

Peach Smoothies

Berry Cobbler

BBQ Sauce with chicken wrap

Corn Muffins

Farmer’s Market Salad- that has every color in the rainbow in it!

Veggie Frittata

I’m telling you, these kids were cooking fools!

At the end of the week, the kids graduate to mini chefs with a certificate, a cookbook and a prize. Missy Mack was so proud of her cooking utensils and can’t wait to use them.

The name says it all, Cook, Learn & Grow. I saw each of the 18 mini chefs do all three of those things throughout the week. This was truly a hands on interdisciplinary camp with reading, writing, creative thinking, science, math, cooking and fun!

We just love Chef Lori and her positive energy, beautiful smiling face and spirit and her love for sharing her gifts and talents with kids! Thanks for a great week, Chef Lori!

The Annual Events

12 Jul

The beginning of July is a fun time for the Mack family. Mr. Mack and I were married on July 1st 2000, so we celebrated our 12th anniversary this year. We splurged on a big date (a sitter, a play and a fancy dinner). A colleague of mine, has a very talented daughter, who does shows in area Austin theaters, so we got tickets to her latest irreverent show, Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson. Wildly funny, intimate setting, terrible sound, but a fun political satire, which is perfect for us and a bonus: they allow beers in the theater. Fabulous!

Since we were on the groovy East Side of Austin (link shows the new and improved East Side), we decided to enjoy a new swanky restaurant we have heard about it, but never had a chance to enter. We settled on Justine’s– a French joint in an old house with lots of old time jazz appeal. The meal was A-Mazing!

We had a salmon appetizer that was so very yummy, Mr. Mack had the Steak Frites

and I had the Mussels that were heavenly.

We course, had a Creme Brulee for dessert and a few glasses of wine. It was so fantastic to have an adult evening in a perfect spot.

Here we are with a one arm jack, the only way a couple a truly commemorate an anniversary.

Then, a few days later is the 4th, which works out so nicely when you can plan your vacation during your anniversary. That wasn’t the case this year, but Mr. Mack had the day off so we slept late, lounged in our pjs and ate yumminess. Isn’t this perfection?

We watched possible every firework show on television and then went out on our patio and watched every firework show in the Austin area. It is one of the greatest things about where we live. We are worried this was our last 4th here. Our lease is up at the end of August so we have to move. We love it here so we are hoping to find a condo in the same neighborhood.

Our good friend came over. We watched the fireworks and drank champagne.


Hope you guys had a great 4th too!

A Tuesday Evening Man Confession

11 Jul

I have a confession to make.

Something is stirring.

I am not sure if it’s because I read all three of these the first week of summer:

Now, I am obsessed with who will  play Christian on the big screen. I need this person to be hot. Really hot. Not even ordinary hot. I need him to be strong with piercing eyes.  Not some scrawny, uncut, boring, ordinary hot guy. Something special. This is just a side night to my confession, BTW.

Maybe it is these books in combination with this fun movie:

Another side step from the confession: I did not think this movie was good. It was fun. I was surprised by the hot-ness of the guys. I have seen Channing Tatum in a few other movies and he did not do it for me, but in this one…

‘The Kid’ did NOT do it for me at all and what a weirdo Matthew was in this movie.

I did love that MM said ‘Alright, Alright, Alright’  a thousand times in the movie AND that he played the bongos almost naked in the movie. However, this was so cheesy and I am not sure I can get this absurd moment out of my memory.

Now to the confession, ever since I met Mr. Mack, no one else does it for me. I am not attracted to other men, I find it difficult to find other guys hot, cute or good looking. Sometimes, I can give a shrug and think, ‘I can see how he does it for someone’. However, lately, I see hot guys everywhere. Just now as they were announcing the guys playing on the All Star baseball team, I’m thinking to myself, ‘Oh, he’s cute’.

What has gotten into me?

Is it possible that a few books and movie has me over sexed? I have read that women want ‘it’ more in the summer. Maybe that is it.  I feel like a 20 something. I don’t look like one, dress like one, talk like one, but the fantasy in head….