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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Annual Bates Nut Farm Visit 2015

The pumpkin patch(es) at Bates Nut Farm opened last week and we made our annual trip out to Valley Center to check out the Big Macs over the weekend. Like last year, the Big Macs were not as big or plentiful as the first year we visited but we still had a great time walking among the pumpkins, taking pictures and visiting the animals. I really can't believe how much Parker has grown since our first visit! 

Mom tips:
-Go early. The light isn't great for pictures but it gets hot and crowded in the afternoons. 
-Go early. The road into Bates is small. Traffic can get really backed up.
-Bring water. 
-Bring wipes or antibacterial stuff because there aren't any hand washing stations by the animals. 

Bates Nut Farm
15954 Woods Valley Road
Valley Center, CA 92802

[They are looking more and more alike everyday.]

[Can you spot the bees hard at work?]

[Parker was not into taking pictures and posing this year. All he wanted to do was climb on stuff. So I just let him do his thing and tried to capture since budding sense of adventure in my snaps.]

[This is what you get when you say, "Smile and then we can go look at animals."]

[This persimmon tree was perfection. I may or may not have rolled that big pumpkin to that spot to get the shot.]

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Themed Baby Shower

Congratulations to Minh & Anh on the arrival of baby Mia! I'm so excited to watch you both grow as parents and to spend time with Mia. To celebrate the arrival of Parker's newest little cousin, here are some pictures from the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star themed baby shower I hosted along with some of my in-laws in July. 

[Minh & Anh. They have no idea what they are getting themselves into.]

[Savory & sweet Popcorn Bar. Popcorn containers from Oriental Trading. Ready to pop sign handmade by Luynh.]

[Susie and Victrine writing down some Wishes for Baby. All paper goods designed by Stress Less Press.]

[My SIL and I went crazy in the ribbon aisle at JoAnn's. The result is a great mix of ribbons for the Measure the Belly game.]

[The Swaddle Stamping Station. Good idea in theory but our execution wasn't great. We had nowhere to display all the swaddles. Learn from my mistakes!]

[What's a party without food? We had a small buffet of all the traditional Vietnamese party food as well as che for dessert!]

[Landon sporting his rad new flash tattoo from the Tattoo Shop.]

[Baby Kiera and my co-host and SIL Loan.]

[Cheesecake from the Incredible Cheesecake Company with custom topper by Luynh. If you haven't had this cheesecake yet, you are missing out on a San Diego gem.]

[Thank you to all our friends and family who came out to celebrate! Welcome to parenthood, Minh & Anh!]

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Guinness Bacon Beer Nuts Game Day Snack Recipe

Football season has officially started and I'm really looking forward to all the get-togethers we will be having with family and friends over the next few months to cheer on our favorite teams. While I'm not the biggest football fan, I am a fan of game day food. Pizza? Yes! Meat on the grill? Yes! Chips? Yes! While all these foods are fun to eat, they are generally not good for your waistline. In an effort to keep everyone slim and sexy this football season, here is a recipe for Guinness Bacon Beer Nuts. These nuts are sure to be a game day hit. They are crunchy, sweet, salty and the Guinness gives them a slight bitter beer finish. You know what else is great? Being able to barrage your husband with inappropriate nut jokes while you make this snack!

Guinness Bacon Beer Nuts
Original recipe from Mantitlement

- 4 1/2 cups of roasted nuts (about 1 1/2 lbs)
- 6 strips of bacon
- 1 cup of Guinness
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook bacon until crispy. Remove and drain. Save the bacon grease.
- Finely chop bacon once it cools. I chopped mine very fine so it almost looked more like bacon sprinkles.
- Combine Guinness, brown sugar, salt and bacon grease in medium pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and cook down for 15-20 minutes. Stir often to avoid burning your sugar.
- Add bacon to glaze.
- Place nuts in a large bowl and pour glaze on top. Stir gently until all the nuts are lightly coated.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Break into pieces and store in air tight container.

That's it! Just 6 ingredients. This snack is easy to whip up and will keep for up to a week. For more healthy snacking ideas, visit Go Chargers!