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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Recap Via Instagram

We started out rainy.
 Packages are always fun...especially from Shutterfly:)
 Groundhog Day Donuts
 Adding some color to the Airstream.
 Shopping for Airstream stuff...these are the countertops for the kitchen.
 Spaghetti night is always interesting.
 I made southwestern egg rolls for dinner...and the boys LOVED them!
 Three boys in three desks.
 Popcorn and a movie on a rainy afternoon.
 Somebody got a little excited about a Little Debbie snack cake:)
 We made Shrinky Dinks:)
 And they were really shrinky!
 Doing some research for our trip.
 Much needed girls day and pedicure. Don't you love those foam flip flops:)
 Dinner with friends...and almost getting in trouble for playing on the escalator!
 Fudge made by my Granddaddy! The BEST fudge EVER!
 More work on the Airstream. Some flooring down and bathroom complete!
 Live music at the local Mexican restaurant.
 Saturday morning soccer games.
 We love Target...and the big red balls:)
Early mornings doing P90X are slowly turning me into a coffee drinker!

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What's in Your Lunchbox?

*graham crackers*
*granny smith apple*
*sugar free chocolate pudding*
*capri sun*
*whole wheat goldfish*
*ham roll-up*

This is what the boys' lunchboxes look like most days.
{except the marshmallows were a treat today}
Sometimes the grapes are switched out for carrots, the apple is switched out for a banana, the pudding is switched out for applesauce or yogurt, and the goldfish are switched out for Sun Chips....and sometimes they get leftover pizza instead of a roll-up or PB&J sandwich!

What does your "lunchbox" usually look like?

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Brownie Stuff

I like brownies.
And I really like this yummy dessert that we call Brownie Stuff!
BUT we only have 89 days until we leave on our big road trip. That will be here soon...and my behind has got to get into shape so that I can enjoy all of the great outdoors on our trip. There will be lots of hiking and biking and walking and mountain climbing for me to do in three months and I want to be ready for it. SO Jason and I started the P90X program today. Let me tell you...it is hard! Getting up at 4:45 this morning was not pretty, but I knew I had to work off this yummy dessert that we devoured this weekend:)
It is kind of painful to share this yummy dessert with you knowing that it will be quite a while before I will enjoy it again...but that doesn't mean you can't whip it up for your family:) 
 We call this Brownie Stuff. It is sort of like a trifle, but it's a lazy version of a trifle because there is only one layer of each thing...so I just call it Brownie Stuff:) All you need to make this {way too yummy chocolate heaven dessert} is a box of brownie mix, a box of instant chocolate pudding, and a tub of Cool Whip {plus the eggs, oil, and milk needed to make the brownies and pudding}.
 Start by mixing up your instant pudding according to the directions on the box. Then stick it in the fridge to chill.
 Mix your brownies according to the directions on the box, bake them in a 13X9 pan, cool them completely, then crumble them up in the pan. I usually take out the corners and any of the edges that get crispy and eat them as a snack...you want your Brownie Stuff to get soft and gooey:)
 Layer your chilled pudding on top of the crumbled brownies...
...and top it off with a layer of Cool Whip. Stick your Brownie Stuff in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours. This is even better the next day when all the pudding has soaked into the brownies and turned into soft chocolate yumminess! I wanted to get a picture of it all scooped up pretty on a plate, but we ate it so quick that there was no time to grab my camera:) 

So to recap:
Make this yummy dessert for your family!
I'll not be making or eating it for at least 3 months.
And I'll be working hard at P90X!
But I'll be craving Brownie Stuff the whole time:)

Linking up here..
Tatertots and Jello
Serenity Now
Someday Crafts
Skip to my Lou
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Friday, February 24, 2012

Waffles, Camera Decisions, and Other Random Things

I ate a waffle for breakfast this morning. I really need to start eating healthy again...and I really need to get my behind back to the track in the mornings too. BUT we watched the Office last night and there was a bit about hotel waffles that really made me want waffles....so I made myself a yummy waffle for breakfast even though I probably should have just eaten an egg or some yogurt! 

We have been working full speed ahead on the Airstream. And we have been buying stuff like crazy too.
flooring, a sink, butcher block counter top, leveling jacks, a new tv, a battery
Amazon has become our friend lately! They have a ton of great deals and the deals are even better when you can get free shipping. We ordered a sink a last week that cost about half what the ones at Lowe's cost and we got free shipping too! It just came in yesterday and it is perfect. I'm ready to get all the necessities taken care of so I can start looking for fun stuff like decorations:)

March is always fun for us money wise. Besides getting our tax refund {if the IRS would ever deposit it...we filed three weeks ago and we still haven't gotten our refund!}, March is also when Jason gets his bonus at work. We usually have a few bills here or there that need to be paid or something big that we are planning to buy, but this year the only thing we really have on our list is Airstream stuff. That means we will be able to spend a little bit of fun money and then still put some in savings.

I have been planning to get a new camera this spring {with some of that fun money I was talking about}. My Nikon D40 has served me well, but I want to upgrade a little and maybe get a new lens or two. I have been comparing a few different cameras and I have sort of decided what I want, but I'm still not really sure. I can't decide if I want to go with the D5100 because that is really all I need...or if I want to spend a little extra and get a more professional camera like the D7000.  It's hard to decide if the increase in price is worth it, but I hate to save a couple hundred dollar and then not be happy with my decision. Any camera advise is welcomed!

I have been busy planning our trip the past few weeks. Making reservations at campgrounds can be kind of scary especially when you don't know anything about where you are going. I have been researching trying to find us nice places to stay. So far it's been pretty good, but I'm having trouble with where to stay when we are visiting Yosemite. The campgrounds inside the park are all booked, which means we have to find a private campground. I found one that is really close, but it has some terrible reviews...and the next closest place is almost 30 minutes farther away from the park. I have to decide if we want to tough it out at a not so great campground or waste an hour of our day driving to and from the park. I'm going to research it a little bit more, but I have to decide soon so that everything doesn't book up!

Soccer season is in full swing, and I am loving it! The boys are really enjoying it, and they are actually pretty good too! I feel like they get so much more physical exercise playing soccer than they ever did during baseball or football! Plus soccer is way more fun to watch too:) Eli has been loving soccer season too....he especially loves the soccer socks!

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Homemade Mini Moon Pies

Mardi Gras is a fun holiday for us. I know that it's not as big of a deal in other parts of the U.S., but we are right in the middle of  Mardi Gras country! To our east is Mobile, the official birthplace of Mardi Gras, and  to our west is New Orleans, the place best known for it {sometimes} wild Mardi Gras ways! It is such a big holiday were we live, that the kids get three days out of school for it!

We usually celebrate by going to a local {very family friendly} parade. The boys love all the decorated floats, catching beads, listening to the marching bands, and eating yummy Mardi Gras snacks. Besides the traditional King Cake {which must be from the fabulous Paul's Pastry Shop} that we eat every year around Mardi Gras, we also LOVE a Moon Pie. These sweet treats are so yummy, and they are even better if you catch them at a parade! Unfortunately we missed our usual parade because of storms that came through on Saturday...so no parade caught Moon Pies for us! I decided making some homemade ones would be a fun replacement, and I'm sharing the step by step for those of you who can't get your hands on a store bought Moon Pie!
 Start with some really easy ingredients: graham crackers, marshmallow creme, and chocolate. 
 There technically isn't any cooking in this recipe...just melting and assembling:)
Start by using a small round cookie cutter {mine was 2 inches in diameter} to cut your graham crackers into circle. Each cracker should make two rounds.
 Put a good dollop of marshmallow creme on one graham cracker round and then sandwich it together with another cracker. This is easiest to do if you put the marshmallow creme into a ziploc bag and then squeeze it out onto the crackers! Place them in the freezer to chill while you melt the chocolate.
 Toss the graham cracker sandwiches into the melted chocolate and use a fork to turn and coat them. Lift them out of the chocolate and tap off any excess chocolate then place them on foil to harden.
 These aren't exactly the same as a traditional Moon Pie. The crackers are a little bit crunchier, and the chocolate isn't quite the same but they are a pretty close match without a whole lot of effort...and they taste really yummy!
How do you celebrate Mardi Gras?!?
Linking up here..
Tatertots and Jello
Serenity Now
Someday Crafts
Skip to my Lou
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Friday, February 17, 2012

Planning is Half the Fun

We are 98 days from our BIG TRIP! It doesn't seem possible that in less than 100 days we will be off on a journey to see parts of the world we've only ever seen in pictures {and on the Brady Bunch}. All kidding aside, we are SUPER excited about our trip! Jason and I sat down and mapped out a tentative course. We've made a few reservations at campsites, but the whole trip isn't set in stone just yet. This is a map that I used to figure out how far we will be going on our trip. In total it will be over 5,000 miles! That is a long way to drive...and a really long way to pull an rv! There are some definite stops on our trip, and I've included most of them on the map below. 

We are still looking for great places to visit along the way, so any and all suggestions or links are welcome! I picked up a few books at the library yesterday so that we could start looking for some "off the beaten path" types of places and make sure that we hit all the "must see" sites too! I would love to take the boys to some fun "kitschy" places along with all the great wilderness & learning things we are planning to see!

We are pretty set in our plan up until we leave the Grand Canyon. We have either made reservations or called about places to stay up to that point, but after the Grand Canyon it gets a little complicated. Apparently Yosemite & Kings Canyon can get a lot of snow in the spring so they don't always make reservations for their campsites until they know they will be able to open. I get that...but I also don't want to drive more than halfway across the country without a plan of where we will be staying {I'm not very spontaneous, can you tell?}. And after we leave Yosemite & Kings Canyon we are moving on to big cities...while pulling an rv. I have to say that is just a little bit scary! But we want to see San Francisco{which btw is totally spelled wrong on my map!} and our plan for heading home is to drive through Los Angeles and hit 1-10 and come all the way back to Mississippi {with a couple of stops on the way}.  

Even though we have a map, some reservations, and sort of a plan, we still have a lot of planning to do....and planning is half the fun:) Oh and we have still have a TON of work to do on the Airstream too!
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sonic Drink Holder Valentine Gift Box

Back in November I started collecting those cardboard drink holders from Sonic. I had seen some really cute gift baskets made with lots of different kinds of drink holders and the Sonic ones seem to be the best...plus who doesn't want a reason to order a few yummy drinks at Sonic:)  Anyway, I was planning to use the drink holders at Christmas to make the boys' teachers gifts. I ended up giving them a different gift, which means my stash of drink holders {yes they are part of collecting vs. hoarding issues too} was still sitting in the dining room waiting to be turned into a cute gift box. I decided that Valentine's Day would be a great reason for me to pretty up the {kind of plain} cardboard drink holders and add a few goodies!
 I started by gathering up a few things to put into the gift box: a coffee cup, hand sanitizer, a Starbucks drink, and a recycled PB jar full of yummy cookies. 
 I used some left over Christmas wrapping paper {red and white polka dots work for so many things} and some scrapbook paper to cover all four sides of the drink holder. I simply placed the drink holder on the backside of the paper and traced around the part that I wanted to cover. I used spray adhesive and a glue runner to attach the paper to the box.
 I added a few vinyl letters to the coffee cup and the hand sanitzier just to make them more personalized. I also added a strip of chalkboard vinyl to the peanut butter jar {to cover up the sticky glue that wouldn't come off}. Then I let the boys decorate the jars with chalk. They wrote Happy Valentine's Day, drew a few hearts, and signed their names.

 I added a circl of scrapbook paper to the top of the jar to cover up the Jif label and then filled it up with yummy Valentine M&M cookies.
To finish off the gift box, I wrapped up the Starbucks drink, added a few pink & white paper straws, and tied on a cute tag with some bakers twine. The boxes took a little bit of time and effort, but they only cost a few dollars {around $7 each} to put together and they turned out SUPER cute! I hope the boys' teachers like them:)
Linking up here..
Tatertots and Jello
Serenity Now
Someday Crafts
Skip to my Lou

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