Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shrimp Tacos For Dinner Tonight

One of our family's favorite meals EVER is fish tacos, made by yours truly.  We had some shrimp in the freezer, and some tortillas in the fridge, so Papa Bear thought Shrimp Tacos would be fantastic, and I agreed!  These shrimp tacos are made simply with warmed, soft corn tortillas, shredded cabbage (or cole slaw mix--no dressing), grilled shrimp, and Garlic Cilantro Aioli (my recipe), with a little fresh lime juice squeezed on top.

We also had Baked Tostitos Scoops with "Cowboy Caviar", which is super yummy and very healthy too!
Want the recipes?  I thought you would.  Keep in mind that these are not perfectly  measured recipes, so you can adjust to your own taste.

Garlic Cilantro Aioli

1/3 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup Miracle Whip Light (I suppose you could use mayo if you really MUST!)
a handful of FRESH cilantro (stems and all---makes it easy!)
2 heaping Tablespoons of minced garlic
Juice from one lime
1 heaping teaspoon (or more) of ground cumin

Put everything in a food processor and mix away.
For variation, I have also done this with a few drops of Tapatio Sauce and some fresh pineapple.


Cowboy Caviar

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of sweet corn, drained
About 3/4 cup of fresh pico de gallo or salsa (although for what you see in the photo above, I used half of a jar of Pineapple Peach Salsa and it was AMAZING!!!)
1 Tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (I processed in the food processor ALL the cilantro for both recipes, then took out what I needed for this recipe.)
1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin

Mix well and ENJOY!!!


If you just happen to have some leftover grilled shrimp and the aioli, it's SO yummy to put a shrimp and a little aioli in one of those Tostitos Scoops, with a little lime juice sprinkled on top.  We're thinking this might need to be a weekly meal instead of a monthly meal!

Let me know if you make this.  It's super easy and FAST!

Mama Bear

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

My First Newborn Photo Shoot

I'm getting super excited! Tomorrow is my very first newborn photo shoot!! I will be photographing a baby who will be 6 days old tomorrow, and I will also be photographing his momma, daddy, and 1 year old brother. I'm a wee bit nervous, but confident and excited, too!

Here is my list of things that I will be taking to the family's home for my shoot:

Extra Battery
Media Cards
Puppy Pee-Pee Pads
Step Stool
Soft and Cozy blankets
Heating Pad
Portable Heater
Backdrop Frame
Sheer Curtains
Clamps for backdrop frame
Water & a snack

Added: Lint Roller and Towels

GOODNESS! That's a LOT of things to haul! I think I need an assistant! I hope I remember everything!

I will be posting a couple of the photos here when I get them processed, and I will also post over at my photography blog: Angie Ochoa Photography

Have a blessed day!

Mama Bear

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Need Help Deciding...

I have these four pieces of fabric, and I plan on making two peasant dresses for my little girlie bear. Here's my dilemma: Which should be the main portion of the dresses and which should be the sleeves and "tuxedo" ruffles?

The dresses will be similar to this one, but possibly with three little "tuxedo" ruffles, instead of just one, like what is shown:

Here's what I am thinking: Using the two similar fabrics (each are only 2 colors) as the main body of the dresses, with the fabrics to the left of them in the photo as the sleeves and ruffles. But maybe I should do it the other way around, so that the smaller prints are the main bodies of the dresses. AGHHHH! See why I need your help??
What do you think? I would appreciate your input!

Mama Bear

Thursday, September 15, 2011

52 Weeks of Mail

Do you like receiving personal, hand-written cards and letters?
I do!!!

Do you find it difficult to stay in touch with people because of your busy life?
I do!!!

Here is a way to keep in touch with your friends and loved ones in an intentional way.
52 Weeks of Mail is designed to encourage people to commit to sending at LEAST one card or letter a week, for the next year! 52 Weeks of Mail starts on October 9th, 2011 and goes through October 7th, 2012. We are asking that you commit to doing this, and sticking with it!

Please feel free to blog about this, Tweet about it, post it on Facebook, and just spread the word as far as you can! We have a Facebook page, and we are trying to get 1000 likes by the end of September. Please help us reach this goal by letting your friends know about 52 Weeks of Mail.

If you are looking for some beautiful handmade cards to send, please visit and check out the abundance of offerings from the EtsyGreetingsTeam!


Mama Bear

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Going to the Dentist

Going to the dentist equals high blood pressure, tears, and near hyperventilation. At least for me it does. I went for a period of 18 years without going to the dentist because it creates SUCH anxiety for me! I try praying through the appointment, and it doesn't work, only because I still am anxious and have "fear", even though I wouldn't if I were truly able to let go of it and allow God to bring me peace.

I went to the dentist on Tuesday to get a cleaning and 3 fillings. I was trying to be a big girl about it and thought I could just do the nitrous oxide (laughing gas) thing, and all would go well. HA! No such thing! The dentist numbed my gums while I breathed heavy and cried. That was of course, after the x-rays and the polishing. Then she gave the shots. My right side went all tingly and I felt like I was going to shake right out of the chair. When they took my blood pressure before they would let me leave the office, it was 140/93 or something like that. Normally, I run about 113/70.

Apparently, I can not get through a dentist appointment without tears, but at least I have a WONDERFUL and VERY sympathetic dentist (unlike my LAST dentist....UGH with a double UGH!). She asked me what I wanted to do. I told her that I would try the nitrous oxide, but my nose was too stuffy from crying and all of the anxiety-producing mucous. Sorry. I know. TMI. But it's true! And you have to breathe through your nose to get the gas. But I couldn't. Now I have to come back with my hubby, who can drive me to and from my appointment, AND make payment to the dentist office. I guess if you're taking an oral sedative, you can't pay for your visit. Which makes me giggle. :-)

So, next month, I will be paying nearly $200 more, so that I can not remember anything about getting three cavities filled. To me, it's TOTALLY worth it!

How are you with the dentist? What helps you relax? Are you like me? Or is it a walk in the park for you?

Hey, have a blessed day!

Mama Bear

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I may have forgotten what I did last Tuesday, but I will never forget what I was doing on Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, when I heard the tragic news of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. I called my mom to tell her that a plane crashed, and as we were talking, I WATCHED the second plane fly straight into the 2nd tower. I got chills as I realized that this was not a random crash. I cried as I told my mom what happened (they don't have a TV).

I can remember being at work that day, constantly wandering into the break room to watch the unfolding events on TV. It is a day I will never forget. I don't personally know anyone who lost someone on that day, but I know that my God personally knows and loves each one who was lost and each family member who lost a loved one. He is a sovereign God, and I praise Him for that.

Please remember to continue to pray for the families who lost loved ones, but also for those who do not know Christ. They need the cross, they need the Gospel, they need Christ.

God Bless,

Mama Bear

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Birthday Celebration

This picture was taken on the very first day we met our baby girl.

A Very Happy 2nd Birthday to our Little Princess Diva Bear.
Yesterday was actually her birthday, but today we are having her party.

We prayed for this baby, and put our application in, in August 2009 to get a baby girl to adopt through foster care. In October of 2009, we got a call from our caseworker, saying they had a baby who wasn't yet two months old (born 09-09-09, sharing her birthday with my father-in-law), whose birth mom was pretty young and in foster care herself. Would we be interested in taking the baby, knowing that she could potentially end up going back with birth mom? We said "Absolutely!". We left it in God's hands, all the while praying that we would be picked out of the 12 families who were put forth as possible families for this precious little baby.

We were leaving to go to our church's family retreat a week later, when we got a call from our caseworker. She said, "Congratulations!", and I nearly screamed! I was SO giddy and happy and excited, even though we didn't know whether or not we would get to keep her.

But we did get to keep her. Her adoption was finalized on February 14th of this year.

She is a pistol, and smart as a whip. She is tender, and is quick to say "Sorry". She randomly comes up and rubs against me like a little kitty cat and says "I love you". She is full of life, full of energy, full of spunk, full of joy. She loves her brothers. She loves books. She has a little elephant snugly named Ellie, whom she sleeps with nearly every night. She has loads and loads of curls, and she cries every time I do her hair. She asks for a bow (hairbow) every morning when she wakes up. She scrunches her nose when she smiles. She loves Apple Jacks and "salad" (tomatoes and cucumbers). She loves to be rambunctious.

We are so blessed to have this precious little girl as our daughter. We love her and pray that she will come to know God at an early age. We pray that she lives up to her name meanings: Sophia (wisdom) Grace (grace) Angela (messenger of God). We pray that she will develop a gentle and sweet spirit. We pray that she will love those around her and be always ready to tell others about Jesus. We pray that we will be the best parents we can be, always pointing her to the cross. Thank you, God, for blessing us with this little girl.

Mama Bear

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Sneak Peek of a Project I'm Working On

I've seen a LOT of cute DIY projects out there (especially on!!!), thinking "Oh, I could probably do that!", but then I never take the time to do it. Well, this time it's different. I didn't see this project anywhere but in my head, but I wanted to see how it would turn out.
Here is a sneak peek.

Any ideas as to what it is or will be?

Mama Bear

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Good Movie to See: Broken Hill

Our family is always looking for GOOD, CLEAN movies to watch. We don't need or WANT to see a lot of bare skin. We don't need or WANT to see a lot of sex scenes. We don't need or WANT to hear a lot of foul language. So, you can see our dilemma in trying to find decent movies to watch.

Well, it seems that Netflix has a lot to offer in the way of movies that are decent and have a good storyline. Broken Hill was one that my teenager and I found to watch while Papa Bear was out hunting again this weekend.

Here is the storyline, from IMDB (which we use on a REGULAR basis!):
Tommy, a gifted teenager composer, dreams of being accepted into the famous Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Unfortunately, a good band is hard to find in the middle of Outback Australia - until a strange incident involving flying watermelons leads him to a group of talented prison inmates. Written by H. Rose

No sex. No violence. If there were bad words, I don't remember hearing them.

I would definitely recommend this movie as one to watch as a family (if you have tweens and teens). And if you like this, I think you also might like Forever Strong.

Have a blessed day!

Mama Bear

When Bananas Turn Brown

Got brown bananas? Don't throw them out! Stick them in the freezer!

Yep, brown bananas in the freezer will keep them "good" until you're ready to do some baking with bananas. When you're ready to make bread or pancakes or some other banana-filled goodie, simply take the bananas out, let them thaw, snip off the tops, and just squeeze the banana out into a measuring mess! And they're SO sweet and give so much yummy banana flavor when they're "over-ripe".

Also, if you like bananas in your smoothies, it's ok to put brown bananas in them. From what I understand, the longer fruit ripens, the higher the amount of antioxidants.

So don't let your kids toss their bananas! Use them to their fullest potential!
You'll be happy you did!

Mama Bear

Thursday, September 1, 2011

So Proud of Papa Bear!

My husband with his first bear!

My father in law with my hubby's bear.

My husband and his dad went hunting in the Shasta/Trinity area of NorCal, on opening weekend of bow season, just a couple of weeks ago. Their plan was to each get a buck (you can only hunt bucks in CA, and they have to have certain size/type horns...we have STRICT hunting laws here) to bring home for meat for our freezers. They each had a deer tag, but they also had a bear tag, just in case.

These photos are from hubby's Flip Camera, so they're a tad blurry, but you get the idea. I'm so proud of my husband for getting his first bear! Yes, we will cook the bear meat (steaks, stew, etc.), and yes, there will be a bear hide adorning the huge wall above our fireplace. That's how much I love my husband. :-)

Mama Bear