Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Patriotic Mesh Wreath

I like making mesh wreaths, but sometimes I just don't have the time to make the ones I imagine myself making.  I've been pondering the design and creation a patriotic wreath for months now, and haven't been able to commit the time.

It just so happened that (on our way home from camping last weekend) we were driving through the small town of Siler City, NC and decided to stop for dinner.  We pondered over where to eat, considering the slim number of choices , and then decided on a locally-owned restaurant that had a gift shop attached.  That is when I fell in love... with this wreath.

It was perfect.  Not exactly what I would have made, but better in some ways.  Simple, yet almost just like a large flag.  It's large, but with my tucked-in porch it is very visible from the road, which is what I wanted.  One less thing to worry about having the time to do.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Camping Trip - Memorial Day Weekend 2012

We had a lovely Memorial Day weekend.  We started early, by loading up the car and heading to the American Heritage Girls Inaugural NC Camporee.  We camped out in Carthage, NC at Camp Durant.  It was a nice camp and the kids had fun.  My oldest daughter got to shoot BB's, make a paracord bracelet, and learned more about first aid.  We all had our share of hiking and roasted marshmallows.  It was nice to have some down time, away from everything.  I used my smartphone as a clock and nothing else, disconnected from the world.
One of the things I took pride in during the camping trip was the food.  I tried to keep it camp-like, but still  good and healthy.  Here was our menu:

Friday dinner: 
Grilled chicken (marinated in Italian dressing)
Brown Rice (the pre-cooked in a bag kind)
Black Beans
Mixed Veggies
The latter 3 were cooked together in 1 pot for ease.

Saturday Breakfast:
Scrambled Eggs
Apple Slices

Saturday Lunch:
PB&J on wheat
Carrot Sticks and Red Bell Pepper slices

(Saturday's dinner provided by the camporee staff consisted of hot dogs and chips.)

 Sunday Breakfast:
Pancakes with Pure Maple Syrup
Fresh Blueberries

Trail Mix

The food turned out great. The chicken and fresh fruits/veggies were all prepped in advance. We had more than enough room in the cooler for other things, and there was plenty of food to cover lunch on Sunday (more PB&J).  I also had in the cooler the Horizon milks that are individual-sized for both breakfasts.  We brought a separate water cooler and drank water and Nuun tablet drinks during lunches and dinners (we tried the pink lemonade, orange and fruit punch tablets).

Tip: You can keep pre-mixed pancake mix (ready to pour) in a cooler for several days.  I used the mix we keep on hand in the pantry, which has oatmeal, cinnamon, whole wheat flour, etc.  YUM!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Teacher Appreciation

Teachers are an extension of you.  You depend on them to direct your child in their learning when they are not at home.  Great teachers are those who positively influence your child, beyond the book knowledge.  We have been so thankful to have such wonderful teachers at my oldest daughter's school.

This year, for teacher appreciation week, we gave her this:

Apparently we ruined a perfectly good mascara day.  I know how that can be.  We, especially my daughter, will sincerely miss being in her class.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reorganizing your counters

Sometimes all it takes is moving a couple of things around to make you wonder why you never thought to do it before.  I moved my toaster oven to another counter to allow a larger workspace by the fridge, where I was also storing knives and cutting boards.  Now I can also fit my food processor when I need to get it out. I also have more space when I am packing lunches and doing other food prep.

Why did it take me almost 6 years to think of this?

We have a section in our kitchen with mini-cabinets (less depth) and a counter.  I store my food processor, stand mixer, blender and some cookbooks there.  They're at a comfortable level for picking up and moving to a workspace, but out of the way when I don't need them.

What are your counter-top organization tips?