Archives for posts with tag: Dallas
chef tre

Christina and me with Chef Tre Wilcox

Ok, so it wasn’t actually “Chopped” and I was simply one part of a winning team, but the Sprouts Food Challenge at Tre Wilcox’s Cooking Concepts kitchen made me feel pretty awesome. The whole experience fueled this curious, creative part of me that doesn’t get a lot of attention being a full-time parent.

I started learning this lesson after Cortland was born 3 years ago. I had 3-year-old Harper and a newborn. I was a full time stay at home mom. Admittedly, a little bit of a hermit hiding out indoors from, you know, germs and anything else that would threaten our infant’s life. I was seriously lacking some sort of creative expression. Around Christmas, I decided to make a set of Advent lesson cards and activities for our family to do together. Not only did the family thoroughly enjoy the daily activities, but I realized I had been seriously neglecting a part of me that needs to be alive and well. That said, I’ve been cognizant to make sure I keep some sort of creative outlet open. It makes for a happier life.

cooking concepts, chef tre wilcox, chopped

Our team with Chef Tre Wilcox of Cooking Concepts at the Sprouts Food Challenge.

That said, my night out at Cooking Concepts was sort of like the pinnacle of creative expression. Sprouts hosted the outing and supplied a wide array of fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables, as well all kinds of high-quality meats and seafood – not to mention a pantry full of odds and ends. We numbered off randomly into teams and were given the task of creating two different dishes, each using these four required ingredients: black beans, marinara, matzo crackers and balsamic vinegar. We were given 40 minutes to make a game plan and execute. It was a blast. If you live anywhere in the Dallas area, get your spouse or a group of friends together and check out Cooking Concepts.

After the competition, we were treated to a delicious meal made by Chef Wilcox and his team. While we dined on salmon, steak, and perfectly prepared comfort food side dishes, a dietitian from Sprouts enlightened us on summer cooking trends and ways to keep ourselves and our kids hydrated during the hot, Texas summer months. Isn’t Sprouts just the best? They’re a regular grocery stop for our family.

Listen, just because you’re a grown up or a parent or have a real job that pays the bills doesn’t mean that you have to stifle the creative spark you have. Find something that ignites it and then invest yourself. Music, art, cooking, dancing, writing – whatever it is. You’ll find yourself alive again in ways that you thought were only meant for childhood and simpler times.

Harper turns two

Harper Rae Moss, age 2

On February 4th, Harper turned two. It’s actually not hard to believe that it’s been two years (although it has flown by), but it’s hard to believe how much she’s acting like a little kid these days. I guess her baby era is over now and that’s a little sad, but her toddler self is pretty awesome. I won’t always do this on my blog, but since it’s her birthday post I’m going to do a quick Harper tribute. Harper is happy and energetic. She is kind and compassionate. She is smart and contemplative. She is funny and entertaining. Snuggly and loving. Creative and artsy. She’s the best.

Mickey Mouse birthday party decor, two year old

You get the idea...

On to the party: I thought about trying to pull off a big party this year – one that included friends, as well as family. I got scared as the date drew near as I was trying to visualize where I’d put 25+ people in our 1,200 SqFt house. I wimped out and we did family only – it was a perfect fit! Nanny and Grandad flew in from Nebraska (my parents) and we’re lucky enough to share the same Metroplex with most of Matt’s family (and millions of other people, that is). Harper’s world is rather Mickey-centric these days, so we had red, black, and yellow – and lots of it.

Mickey birthday cake for a two year old

Cakes by Jen

I used posterboard to cut out varying sizes of circles by tracing plates, cups, etc. Once the tracing was done, I did a lot of cutting. Thanks to my parents and Matt for helping finish off the cutting in the 11th hour! I’m not putting up a picture, but the dot formation continued across the walls of this room and bled into the next. See all the Mickey Mouse heads? My mom used a crafting template tool to punch those suckers out. She is also responsible for the awesome “Harper” banner – thank you for all of your help and creativity, Mom! Aunt Jennifer made the INCREDIBLE Mickey cake and, for those who are wondering, it tasted as impressive as it looked. If you’re in the Dallas area and need a cake, she can make anything you need. I mean anything. She’s an artist.

Here’s the rest:

Mickey Mouse birthday party cake

Happy Harper

drinks, Mickey Mouse birthday party

Mickey straw toppers

Harper's 2nd bday, cake

Harper's messy mess

decorations Mickey Mouse birthday party

So. Many. Dots.

Matt, Laura, Harper on her second bday

The Mossketeers

Happy 2nd birthday, sweet girl! We love you, Harper Rae Mouse!