Sunday, January 31, 2010

The newest member of the Andrews/Kowalski house

She doesn't have a name yet. That's for Brian to decide since she is his puppy. I bought her for him today from a local breeder. She's a pure bred chocolate lab with beautiful green eyes, and an early Valentines Day present from me to him. He's already smitten with her.

Friday, January 29, 2010

My first attempt at iced sugar cookies

Actually that's not true. I've tried for years to make a good sugar cookie, and no matter what recipe I try they just aren't good. I don't like hard sugar cookies. I want a sugar cookie that is crisp on the outside, and chewy on the inside. These are perfect, and so easy to make. Icing? Well, I'm going to have to just keep practicing. The colors are pretty, and they taste wonderful, but I'm not thrilled with how the outlining is so obvious. I guess this is definitely one of those things that practice makes perfect. I don't think my family will mind the practice. In the meantime if you want to see some beautiful (and perfectly) decorated cookies go on over to Amanda's site. You'll want something sweet to eat after viewing her sugar creations.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I had a great birthday this past Monday. I spent most of the day studying, but then after school and work Brian took all of us to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Actually, all of us except Sean. He said that he needed to stay home, but I had no idea why. When we came home he had a homemade cake made for me with HAPPY BIRTHDAY written on the top, and I ♥ U on the side. He's such a thoughtful person, and the fact that he skipped dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (one of his favorite places) to do that for me made it even more special.

During the day I received a delivery of red tulips (tulips being my favorite flower) from Pam, and then roses from Brian and Erin. They are all so beautiful.

It was a great day, and I'm looking forward to the coming year.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's official

I'm officially 37 as of two minutes ago (12:05am). I came THIS close to being born on 1-24, but thankfully I had other plans, and made my mom wait a bit longer. I'm glad. I like 1-25, I like that I'm now 37, and I'll continue to like each age as I reach it.

Now I'm going to bed! Unfortunately the university doesn't recognize my birthday as a holiday so I have to be up bright and early for classes. Looking forward to it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Erin's birthday party

Erin had her 7th birthday party today at a local roller skating rink. It was a huge hit with all of the kids, and several of them want to have their party there now, too. Not only did they get unlimited skating, but they had access to a bouncy house, arcade area (each child received tokens), and a dance room. Erin told me that it was her favorite party ever, and now she's sorting through all of her gifts. I'm exhausted after being up until 1:30am working on her cake, and a cake that I had to make for a wedding shower today. It was all worth it, especially seeing the excitement and joy on Erin's face all afternoon.
Ashley, Erin and Hannah

The skating rink has their own decorations...easier for me!
Erin's birthday cake...looks pretty ordinary from the outside, but...
...definitely not ordinary. It's a huge cake, and everyone was oohing after the first piece was cut. The recipe comes from one of my new favorite blogs, I Am Baker. Talk about talent! Amanda has it. I'll be trying several of her recipes and ideas in the near future.
In addition to the rainbow cake I made cupcakes in the same colors, and sprinkled them with coordinating colors.

Erin realizing that this was the popsicle maker that she wanted from Williams-Sonoma. She takes after her mommy...that's my favorite store!
The party gang!

This is the cake that I made for a wedding shower that was right after Erin's birthday party. It was four layers, alternating gold (bright yellow) and red-her wedding colors. It was frosted with Amanda's recipe for buttercream icing (I Am Baker), and it was delicious! I bake for the nurses every weekend, and so they are familiar with my amateur skills-the cake was for one of the nurses. I also made red cupcakes with white icing and red and yellow sprinkles to coordinate with the cake.

So after baking for two days, and being up late last night and up early this morning to finish both cakes I am exhausted, and headed in for a nap now. More later...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A drawing contest

Erin is, and always has been, a huge fan of yogurt. Thankfully it provides her with a snack that is as nutritious as it is delicious.

A blog that I frequent,, along with Yoplait Kids, is sponsoring a drawing contest for children. In her drawing Erin is showing us how strong she has become as a result of exercising (being outside), and eating healthy (including her Yoplait Kids yogurt). See those huge muscles on her 7 year old arms (the circles)? She's one strong girl, and a fabulous artist in my opinion!

For more information on the contest go here, and maybe even submit your own budding artists drawing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Just a cute picture that I took of him last night while he hung out with Taylor and Aspen in his room for a couple of hours.
PS-He's going to be 15 next month! Driving we come.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The cold is gone

It's finally warm again. Thank God. I don't know if I could tolerate the freezing weather much longer. I really dislike it (as if you couldn't tell). It was back up to 77º today, and I love it.

However, earlier this week it was a very different story, and these two pictures are indicative of what we were experiencing. Yuck!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Goodies from Grandma and Grandpa

Erin (and the boys) received a box filled with goodies from Grandma and Grandpa (in Oregon) a couple of days ago. In it were two jars filled with candy, and the jars are decorated like Santa Bear and Mrs. Claus Bear. Erin just loves these. The star of the box, though, was about 100 (just kidding) frosted sugar cookies. The kids love Grandma's frosted sugar cookies, and they are always devoured quickly when we get them.

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa.


It's 3:00am, and it's 27º (feels like 22º). Erin, Sean and I took Anah out to have a potty break, and we were frozen within a minute. There is ice all over my car, and snow expected later tonight and/or tomorrow night. Seriously? This is for the birds. I despise the cold, and I haven't experienced temperatures this low in Florida since it snowed in Jacksonville in 1989.

Sean wearing Brian's hunting gear to stay warm.

One of my prayers tonight will be to get accepted to medical school at USF so that I don't end up somewhere with frigid winters. I'm kidding, of course, but...USF, USF, USF!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Six missing

Another pulled tooth three nights ago, and now Erin has an even bigger hole in the front of her mouth. This was her 8th pulled tooth, and a total of six missing now. She does have three growing in now, so hopefully she won't be toothless for too much longer.

Face paint

Erin bought some face paint with some of her birthday money. Sean was the first warrior, and this was the final result.

Big shoes

You know your son has a large foot when you have to order his shoes from

That's right. The only place we can find (non-geriatric) shoes in large sizes is Forget about shopping locally for them, and being able to try them on before buying. Those days are gone for Sean.

You wouldn't think size 16 would be THAT difficult to find, but unless you want leather loafers or shoes that look like they belong on a 70 year old is! Apparently young boys of 14 years of age aren't supposed to have feet this big, or they aren't supposed to wear "cool" shoes.

*For the record, Vans does sell his size, and he has three pairs from their website, too. Way to go, Vans!

A party?

Sean recently attended the 15th birthday party (Quinceañera) for one of his friends from school. This is a video that was made by a local production company that her parents hired for the night. I told Sean not to get any ideas, because he will NOT be having a party like this next month for his 15th! You can see Sean standing as Kayla is introduced.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

7 years old

Although she won't technically be 7 until 8:48am...

As we always do we had our midnight birthday celebration for Erin. Grandma and Grandpa joined in via Skype (from Oregon). We all sang Happy Birthday, Erin had a scavenger hunt to find one gift (she has to wait until dinner for the rest), and we had a quick homemade pink heart-shaped cake with one candle. Yes, all at midnight. There's nothing like cake at midnight!
(Not sure what the weird dot is above my left eyebrow-must have been something on my lense!)
I still can't believe that it's been seven years since my baby girl was born. She is a constant ray of sunshine, a source of never-ending laughter, and the cause of so much joy in my life. I can't imagine my life without her. Happy birthday monkey.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


Both of my boys are officially shavers now. Sean has had to shave for over a year, and as of last night (after a trip to the store with Brendan to purchase his first razor) Brendan does, too. He was so anxious to get rid of the hair, and took care of it as soon as we got home. He was showing a dark mustache, and he hated it (thankfully).

Brendan playing his Xbox after his first shave.

They are growing up.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Almost 7

In just TWO days my baby is going to be seven! It seems unbelievable, and overwhelming all at the same time. She is still my baby in so many way (and always will be), but she is growing up so quickly. We'll have her birthday celebration on Sunday here at home with just our immediate family, and then in three weeks she will be having her party (roller skating) with all of her friends. She can barely stand the wait!

7 years old, and going on 16.