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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Salted Caramel Sauce


So we love caramel- in every form! I decided to try my hand at making some salted caramel sauce and it didn’t start off too good. First I discovered my candy thermometer was broken and then I burned the first batch, but luckily I didn’t give up because the second batch turned out good (and delish!).


2 cups sugar

12 tablespoons butter

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon salt (I used sea salt)


Let your heavy cream, and butter come to room temperature. Also, I recommend cutting your butter into small pieces to make it easier to melt. It’s also a good idea to measure out your sugar and salt as everything is timing critical.

Add 2 cups of sugar to a large saucepan (the ingredient list is short, but it does bubble, so use a larger saucepan). Put on medium heat and wait for the sugar to start to melt. When it does, start whisking. It’ll get clumpy (keep whisking) and then start to turn to liquid (keep whisking). Once the sugar has dissolved, stop whisking and watch for the amber/ golden-caramel color.

As soon as you see the amber color, add the butter and whisk until it has incorporated. Then remove from heat.

Slowly stir in the heavy cream and then the salt. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then you can pour it into jars to store.

Of course, now is also the time enjoy on an ice cream Sunday, so don’t store it all!

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party


On Tuesday night while we were down in Orlando we decided to go to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. We have always done the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas party but everyone always told us to do the Halloween one, so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity while we were already down there and take Ava.


Ava wanted to dress as Sophia, which worked out perfectly since A.) We already had the outfit and B.) That's who she wanted to see at Hollywood Studios on Thursday.IMG_5879


Mom, Dad, Adam, Ava, myself, and Mrs. Teresa (an employee from the store) all went for the evening/night. The weather was fantastic, I even got a little cool (which I am NOT going to complain about!). The crowds were the lowest we had ever seen. I think we did just about everything in the park in about 3 hours time, due to no waits at anything!




She, of course, had to wear a birthday button since her birthday was the week before. Princess Sophia :)




I didn't take too many pictures, because really, how many pictures can you have of her doing the same things each time we go...IMG_5890


But I did take pictures of her with Ariel. As you know she had an Ariel birthday party this year so she was telling her all about it. IMG_5891


Ariel was such a good sport and listened and asked all kinds of questions about it.



I know why Buzz Lightyear (or the Toy Story Ride at H.S.) is such a big hit...because no matter your age or gender you all enjoy the ride!

Proof Below:



Mom and Dad



Me and Adam... I wasn't cheating, I promise!!! :)



Mrs. Teresa and Ava




We found the dance party with Sulley and Mike Wazowski.


The "old"er people left earlier than we did and we made our way up to see Mickey and Minnie in their Halloween costumes.IMG_5907



Then we settled into a spot for the parade. Before the parade they had a dance party in the street and Ava went out in the middle. IMG_5917


I should post a video because pictures just do not do it justice... She was dancing her little heart out!



I'm telling you- when she is dancing she becomes a different person...I'm not sure if I should be concerned about that or not- haha!


We had such a good time, but it was hard to get up the next morning! Luckily we had a short walk to the convention and we didn't have any plans the following night!


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Monday, October 21, 2013

Ace Convention 2013


The week of September 9th, I picked Ava up from school to learn she was the Star Student! We are so proud of how well she does in school!


Too bad we were going to be gone the rest of the week and she wouldn’t be able to perform her Star Student duties!


After picking Ava up from school, we headed south to Orlando.The Ace convention was held in Orlando this year. It was safe to say we had a busy few weeks with the conference, birthday/party, and convention following each other! Ava is always so excited to stay in a hotel because its the only place I allow her to jump on the beds- haha!


Of course Adam likes hotels  because of amenities like TVs in the mirrors...


We stayed at the Peabody which is right across from the convention center so it was really nice to be able to just walk over. Although, Ava liked it for the pool area! IMG_5870IMG_5871

She really wasn't even tall enough to slide down the cool slide but since they weren't busy at the time we were there, the lifeguard on duty said it was okay. IMG_5872IMG_5873

She convinced her Papa to swim with her. They spent a while in the pool. Mom, Adam, and I were actually quite chilly sitting out by it, which is very surprising for Orlando in September. In fact, the entire time we were there it was nice and breezy!


I remember swimming under the waterfall at this exact hotel when I was MUCH younger!


The next morning, Ava, Adam, Dad and I all walked over to the convention for the general session meeting (aka the convention kickoff) and then headed onto the show floor.IMG_1238

While Adam and I were speaking with some vendors, Ava and mom walked a few isles and within 30 mins to an hour she had loaded up on quite a few freebies! haha! I joked on instagram that she was on par to set the record for the most free stuff from a convention that her older cousins currently hold :)



Adam and Ava found quickly found the candy booth- go figure, right?!


Ava took a drive in the simulator- she thought it was so cool!


Ace is a big supporter of Children's Miracle Network. This year's Ace CMN Champion was Ellie and Ava was able to meet her and these two girls instantly hit it off. Ellie had such a great personality and she had Ava up in the CMN booth with her trying to get dealers to buy raffle tickets and bid on items! They became fast pals! They had actually planned a playdate at the beach, of course then I had to break the news to both of them that there was one crucial fact they were forgetting, Ellie lives in Illinois!


There was a big card everyone could sign and Ava wanted to leave a note for Ellie all by herself. She was sad to have to say good-bye to  her!


On Thursday morning, when I realized we were going to be leaving and hadn't yet seen the ducks walk the red carpet, we walked back over to the hotel to see them do their thing. IMG_5933IMG_5934

The Peabody has actually been sold to the Hyatt and as of October 1st was no longer The Peabody, so this was Ava's last chance to see the ducks walk down the red carpet. Adam thought the entire thing was way over the top. The way grown people were going crazy over ducks! haha!


You know, I told Adam the Peabody was the first hotel I ever remember staying in as a little girl. I'm not sure that it was the first one, just the first one I remember, but I vividly remember that each hotel room in The Peabody had one of those mini fridge/bar things, and I also vividly remember asking my parents if I could have something from it and they told me no, multiple times. At which point Adam responded, 'And if they had one now, you would let Ava have something, wouldn't you?!' He knows me well, because I sure would have- I mean that has obviously scarred me for life- and it was probably all of $3.00 that I wanted to spend (if that!). haha! He made me tell my parents about it! They no longer have the mini-fridge/bar but we found out after the fact that you can call ahead and order your favorite items to be stocked in your fridge prior to your arrival!  (At this point Adam was silently thanking God we did not know that beforehand!)





One major advantage to having passes to Disney is being able to go and it not cost- so we took the opportunity on Thursday afternoon to run over to Hollywood Studios to let Ava see Disney Junior, Live on Stage, and to see Sophia since she wasn't there the last time we were!


We waited a long while in the line to see her, but it was worth it for Ava and then right as we got up to her they told us they were moving her to a new location because it had started to rain. Luckily they didn't tell us she was going to be leaving for good! Oh my at the unhappy child we would have had on our hands if that had been the case!


After snapping a few pictures with Sophia we headed back to the convention to finish a few things and load up some goodies we had purchased and were bringing back! ace jd power 2013-1

We had a good week, but I was glad to have it over- I still had/have a busy couple of months planning for 2014, but at least some of the major events were out of the way! We made it home and still had the rest of the weekend to enjoy as a family!

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Ava Elisabeth

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Ava Elisabeth

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