Spontaneous Roadtrips and Indiana


I try to hold true to this statement and once a year take my kids on a trip. This summer, however, we did not plan any vacations or trips. We were just going to be homebodies and enjoy what our town had to offer. 

Life had other plans. The boyfriend has family in Indiana and decided last minute we were going to take a roadtrip and spend the week in the Midwest. 

12 hour drive later, the kids and I woke up to the sun rising over the corn fields and windmills greeting us a good morning. 


We spent the week exploring the bfs hometown. From eating pizza in a double decker bus to venturing out to see waterfalls, we had a blast. 

Stops included the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH. Swimming in the river in Liberty, IN. And a bonfire watching the sunset over the farmlands. 


The trip home included a stop at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY and a tour of the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN. 

While a trip to farm country may not seem exciting, it’s all about who you travel with. My kids got to experience another state and I got to learn more about what makes my man tick. 

No trip is ever boring when it’s with the ones you love. So get out and explore. You never know what you might learn. 

Florida Beaches

Staycation has been good so far. We have had two incredible beach days at two of my favorite beaches. 

Day 1: Mexico Beach. I love going here because it is not nearly as busy as Panama City Beach but just as pretty. White sand and clear waters make for a relaxing day. A few hours of soaking up the sun followed by lunch at Tou Cans (a great little seafood joint right on the beach)  and the day was a success. We ended the night in a high note with Moana and some Snapchat fun. (Mexico Beach below)

Day 2: St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach. This section of the beach is usually not as busy or as rough but emerald green and beautiful. When taking smaller kids to the beach, this cove is the perfect little spot. We got our fill of sun and brought home our fair share of sand. Another successful beach day. 


Day three will be filled with shopping and dinner at Pier Park. Spring Break has been good to us so far! 

Staycation Time

Spring Break is next week here in Panama City. Usually we are off on an adventure during Spring Break, but this year we have company so we are doing a staycation while my friend gets to experience a new adventure.

I think one of the best things about having someone visit us is being able to show them all the cool spots and beaches like a tour guide. I get to relive the excitement all over again.

Three days packed with different beach spots, restaurants and of course shopping. I love a good adventure, but I also love sleeping in my own bed. I get the best of both this next week.

Anyone else enjoying a little Staycation this Spring Break?IMG_1066

Southwest Chicken Cups

We love finger foods. And the kids are a sucker for tacos. These cups are easy to assemble and extremely tasty! 

Southwest Chicken Cups:

2lbs of ground chicken

1 can of corn (drained)

1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)

1 can Rotel (drained)

1 package of taco seasoning 

1/2 package of wonton wrappers

Cheese for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a muffin tin with wrappers. I use two in each cup, with the corners overlapping in the bottom of the cup. 

Brown ground chicken. Add in beans, corn and Rotel. Do not drain any of the liquid. Add in taco seasoning. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat to simmer for about 5 minutes. 

Fill Cups with filling and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Top with your favorites like sour cream and salsa. A variation of our favorite food…tacos!! 

Christmas Popcorn

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the lights, the sound of snow falling, the smell of the evergreen trees, and the joy my children have for the holiday. For our traditional viewing of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”, I made Christmas popcorn. This is a very easy recipe and can whipped up very quickly. Here is a very basic recipe that can be easily modified for your family. 


Ingredients:

5 cups of popped popcorn

1 bag of red and green M&Ms 

1 bag of mini marshmallows

1 bag of chocolate covered pretzels Christmas trees
Directions: 

Pop your popcorn. I do mine on the stove in a popcorn pan. However, lightly buttered microwaveable popcorn works as well. Mix all ingredients into a large brown bag and serve. 

Very easy yet a fun treat for your holiday movies. This time of year is stressful enough, the treats you have with your family shouldn’t be. 

Merry Christmas!

Giving Back

I have always been close to my family. My parents instilled in us the importance of family and having a relationship with my grandparents. I was able to spend the week of Thanksgiving in my Colorado with my grandparents.

While I loved spending the week with them, it was an eye-opening experience. I spent the week taking care of two old people. Cooking for them, running errands and helping my grandma when she shook so bad her pills would dump on the floor. Family is important. I got to give back to two people who always had my back growing up. 

I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for them. Their first home cooked holiday meal in about 4 years. It broke me heart to leave them. 

On a positive note; Colorado is gorgeous. Here’s a few pics of my trip. 

The Mountains Are Calling

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I am a mountain girl at the very core of my being. While I do claim land mermaid status, my soul longs for the mountains. Seeing the mountains out of my parent’s mini van windshield meant we were almost to my grandmother’s house. As I had gotten older, and we had moved to Wyoming, seeing the mountains was an every day occurrence. We traveled those Rocky Mountain ranges every year, at least twice a year to see my grandparents. My life has always been in the mountains. My soul is happy in the valley of those towering, snow-capped ranges.

The mountains are calling, and I must go.

In two weeks my feet will touch Colorado soil after close to 5 years. Far too long. I will get to spend a brief, but wonderful week of Thanksgiving with my grandparents, in the valley of the San Juan Mountains. My soul will find it’s rest. It is weary.

There are never enough words to express my love for the mountains. The crisp breeze of fall, the rustling of the leaves as they flitter off the Aspen trees. The snowy hills and the creatures that roam free and quiet in the stillness. There is a quiet unlike any other, one that refreshes and restores.

I belong in the mountains. It is calling me home. 2 weeks to go. My heart is about to burst at the thought. Adventure awaits. Take me home.

 

 

Fall in the South

It seems like it has been forever since we have been camping anywhere. And even longer since I have put any travel anything on this blog. So I am going to combine two wonderful trips into one post! Our first trip was in September and we went to Ichetucknee Springs State Park near Lake City, FL and a few weeks ago we went to Cape San Blas State Park in Cape San Blas, FL.


Ichetucknee Springs was a wonderful weekend full of floating lazily down a very cold, clear spring then swimming in the crystal clear waters of one their natural springs. Let me tell you, they are cold! 72 degree temperature, but hey when it’s hot and humid, those are amazing. We rented tubes and floated down the river for a few hours. It was the most relaxing trip. Well, besides one of the boys losing his flip flops because he didn’t listen when told to put on boat shoes, or when the other boy nearly tipped me off my float because he had to pee….yes that is life with boys.

Our other camping trip was to Cape San Blas State Park. We spent a three day weekend just laying on the beach, enjoying the waves, the sun, and the ability to walk to back to camper anytime we wanted. My boys were in heaven because they got to fish all day long. And they did. It was marvelous.

We didn’t do much. I sat in a beach chair and read Harry Potter. I watched my boys knee deep in the water fishing. I watched my daughter and my four year old niece play in the sand. I watched my Mom and Dad enjoy being able to relax. I watched the sunset and my loves sitting by the fire roasting marshmallows.

It was a weekend I needed in the midst of the chaos of school, work, and raising kids. It was good to get away, even for a short while.

 

Pork Green Chili

Fall is in the air….well somewhere else anyways. This is Florida after all. But, here in the south it is football season. One of my favorite meals is green chili. You can serve it over rice or burritos or whatever else you desire! This recipe is easy and very flavorful! Spice it up or tone it down depending on your taste.


Pork Green Chili:

Ingredients:

2lbs boneless pork roast cut into chunks

Cilantro (I use dried and add as much as needed for flavor)

2-1/2 cups Chicken Stock

2 cans diced green chilies 

4 garlic cloves crushed

1/2 onion chopped

1 jalapeño (more if you want more kick)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp pepper

1 package of Green Chili Enchilada Sauce

2 tbsp oil

2 tbsp flour

Directions: 

Heat oil in medium-high heat. in large pot. Sautée onions, garlic, and jalapeños until onions are opaque and jalapeños are tender. Add pork roast, season with pepper, cilantro, and pepper, and cook until browned. Add chicken stock, green chilies and flour. Mix well. Bring to a boil. Then reduce to low heat and simmer for 2 hours. 30 minutes before serving, add sauce. Mix and continue to simmer for an additional 30 mins. 

Serve! We had ours over rice but it’s great over bean and cheese burritos as well!

Aren’t We All a Little Mad?

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Life can be so freaking hard. Like really hard. The kind of hard that makes you wonder if you will ever recover, catch a break, or be free. And it seems lately, life just keeps getting harder. It shouldn’t be this hard to just survive each day. However, sometimes it takes everything in me to just get out of bed.

I am a full time mother of three kids. I work full time. I attend classes at the local college full time. Dating? Who has the time? And lets just be honest, guys of this generations (not all but most I have found in this region anyways) still act like they are in high school.

Last night I mouse paid me a visit in my bathroom. I screamed, he screamed and we both ran in opposite directions. Sadly, I don’t think I am going to come home to a clean house or a new dress. Or dinner on the stove. Okay that was a rat, but still. I will be coming home with mouse traps, however.

Every day offers a new set of challenges. I have two starting middle school this week. Challenge 1. I have a 5th grade girl. Challenge 2. I am juggling working at a middle school, while raising middle school kids, while taking a full class load. Challenge 3. The list goes on. With each new addition to my overflowing plate, I being to think this is all impossible. How can I possible juggle football practice, school (for all of us) household chores, being a mom, working, being a daughter and hell just being a woman! It is impossible.

We must all be a little mad to be able to get through this life with a sense of humor and be able to laugh at it all. My plate runneth over. My mental capacity is reaching its limit. Exhaustion overload. The Mad Hatter may actually know a thing or two about life. Yes we are all a little mad. And yes, it is only impossible if you convince yourself that it is.

Take a few lessons from the Mad Hatter. Drink some tea, celebrate a half birthday, pull up your big girl (or big boy) panties and get to it. We can rest when we are dead.