Sunday, August 24, 2014

Creative lunches for school aged kids: Week 2





Ok, welcome to another exciting episode of "What my kids ate for lunch." Here is what we packed for lunch last week!

Monday: Chicken/Cheese Quesadillas, carrots (or blueberries), fruit cocktail and a rice krispie treat!











 



Tuesday: Pepperoni and Cheese Pretzel shish-ka-bobs, (I used a straw to poke a hole in the pepperoni and cheese before threading onto the pretzel.), Pretzel sticks, grapes, cucumbers, rice krispie treat.
 
Wednesday: Ham and cheese tortilla roll up, carrots, rice krispie treat, and strawberry/blueberry fruit mix.


Thursday: Chef salad, (ranch on side), celery with peanut butter, and rice krispie treat!


Friday: Celery with peanut butter, (veggie and protein) cheese (for more protein), carrots, pretzel sticks, & rice krispie treat!



Do you pack lunch for yourself, or your family? Do you stick to sandwiches, leftovers, or do you try to get more creative?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Creative lunches for school aged kids: Week 1

Last year, I felt as though lunch money was going to literally break me. It seemed like I was giving Rachel $20 every other week. (Disclaimer: I know that school lunches are healthy, and they are worth the money.) And then, when I asked Rachel what she had for lunch she would say things like: "cucumbers.... I didn't like anything else they had." Basically I was paying $40+ a month for her to eat nothing. This hurt my pocketbook's feelings real fast. At the same time, Fish was taking her lunch everyday and I knew:
A) She was getting things she liked
B) I wasn't spending a bazillion dollars on nothing. 

Fish did tend to take a lot of PB&J last year, so this year I am attempting to pack lunches that taste good, are healthy and won't get boring too quickly.  Each week I will post pictures and a description of the week before so hopefully it will help some of you out there!

Day 1: Pretzel sticks, pepperoni, cheese, carrots, grapes, peanut butter cookie.


Day 2: Pretzel sticks, chicken salad, strawberries (or fruit snacks) and grapes with a side of ranch. 

Day 3: Pepperoni and cheese roll up, carrots, fruit snacks, cottage cheese, peanut butter cookie and ranch.

Day 4: Peanut Butter and Jelly rolls (made to look like sushi, got the idea from here: http://thestir.cafemom.com/food_party/157471/pbj_sushi_recipe_puts_a), side salad, cheese, strawberries, peanut butter cookie. 

Last week was a short week because school started on Tuesday. Rae will be eating at school on Fridays, so that's why we only had one that day. :)

Also, the girls and I have decided to start baking one treat on the weekend so we will have a "dessert"
for our lunches. I am having so much fun coming up with these each day, and they are enjoying eating them too! :)





Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer Vacation Recap- Days 3-7!


A few weeks ago I started to recap from our Summer Vacation. This will (finally) be the last edition! If you didn't read the last update, here is the link: http://dirtroaddamsel.blogspot.com/2014/08/summer-vacation-recap-road-trip-day-2.html so you will know what I'm talking about!

When I left off we had just arrived in Colorado. After finally getting some much needed sleep, we dropped our car off at the mechanic's shop and borrowed the jeep to go do some sightseeing. We had to start off by heading to Crested Butte, but of course we took the scenic route. ;)

We took the Ohio Creek Pass, which travels through the Gunnison National Forest. That whole drive is gorgeous.
Here are the Rock Castles on Ohio Pass.
I love the Aspen trees. They are covered in initials that were carved into them!
Finally, we arrived in Crested Butte. (I say finally like I didn't LOVE that drive!) Crested Butte is an awesome little mountain town. This is a busy place all year round and a prime location for skiing.
I do not ski. Shopping is my cardio, so I love to go to Crested Butte and do what I do best... window shop!
We had lunch at the Brick Oven Pizzeria and Pub. This BBQ Pork Pie pizza was amazing. Who wouldn't want a pizza covered in pork?
After some shopping we headed back to the house for some family time before crashing for the night. 

Love all the cute little houses downtown! 
 

Anyway, Crested Butte is such a cool town. Check out this website if you want to see some amazing views via the Mountain cam! http://skicb.com/




On day 4 we woke up, talked to the mechanic and found out that our car couldn't be fixed in time to get us home. Oh yay. So, we looked around at the car lot in town. We found a car we liked and test drove it. We filled out a loan application  and then headed to Montrose, Colorado to look at some other cars in case that one didn't pan out.

I got some amazing pictures of this beautiful lake on my way there!

After checking out some other lots we got a call letting us know we were approved and our car payment would not be insane, so we grabbed a delicious lunch before heading back to town.

Ah, Chihuahua! is the name of the Mexican Restaurant we checked out. It was amazing. Our service was so quick and the food was delicious. It was a nice treat and a great break from our crazy day!

















After pigging out we headed back to town and made some final agreements on the new car. We traded in our Honda CRV and made arrangements to sign papers on our 2009 Dodge Journey the following day. 

The car dealership in Gunnison (John Roberts) was amazing to work with! They made the whole car buying experience hassle free! 

So, we started day 5 by signing papers on our car before spending some time walking around downtown.
The W on this mountain is for Western Colorado University. Such a beautiful town! (We ended up watching fireworks over this mountain on Day 6!)
Downtown is so full of character. I loved walking around and checking out all of the shops!
That afternoon the in laws watched the girls and we suited up like Power Rangers to ride the four wheeler.
We took the four wheeler up in the mountains to check out the Alpine Tunnel. I won't pretend that I wasn't scared for my life. But it was gorgeous and so much fun.



On the way home we stopped and found Indian Head Rock outside of Pitkin, Colorado. Can you see the Indian?
On day 6, (The 4th of July!) we woke up super early and headed to the park for the hot air balloon festival! When we got there, we didn't see any hot air balloons, but after a short time we got to watch every single balloon be inflated. It was amazing! Also, Felicia found out that the hot air balloon pilots were handing out trading cards, so she came home with a stack of 9.














After the hot air balloons we hopped on the four wheeler one last time to see some sightseeing.
I love all the snow we played in! 

That night we went back to the park and watched the firework show over the mountains. It was cold, but completely gorgeous! Best 4th of July ever!

The next morning we headed home nice and early, and got home right around bedtime. We had an amazing time... and we hit 7 states in 7 days!
I think Lucy speaks for all us on how we felt when we got home. (Can you tell she is smiling? Too cute!)
Do you have any future road trips planned? Where would you like to head out to?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Scrabble Tile Family Sign

This weekend I was wondering through Hobby Lobby and found these adorable Letter Tiles in the Embellishment section.

I bought a bag and took them home to make a Pinterest inspired craft. Unfortunately, one bag wasn't enough so I had to use 3.

It actually may have been cheaper to just buy a Scrabble game, so keep that in mind if you want to do this.

Anyway, I put a piece of scrapbook paper in a square picture frame so that I would have a solid background, and then I arranged the tiles to spell out the names of each of our family members.

I then hot glued the tile in place on the glass. Within minutes this easy craft was done and ready to go up on our living room collage wall! (I'll share the wall soon... Not quite done!)



Now I have a bunch of extra tiles. I have seen some cute ideas on Pinterest, but I'm not sure what I'll do with them yet. Any ideas?


30 Before 30 Update- 6 Months to go!

 
Aaaah! I only have six more months until I turn 30. I am so proud of myself for knocking out so much of this list. I am also proud of myself for knocking out so much that wasn't on my list to begin with:
Starting College
Getting a new job
Getting a grown up car... more on that later

It's been a crazy year indeed, but I feel like I am where I need to be. Hopefully I can finish up the rest of this list in the next 6 months, but if not I will not sweat it because I have come a long way!
 
1. Find a go to salsa recipe.
 
2. Find a go to wine.

3. Read 50 books. I finished my 38th book last week! Allegiant by Veronica Roth.. and I watched Divergent Friday night so I feel like I'm not 6 months behind the rest of the world anymore.


4. Weigh 125 again (my goal weight!), and maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising at least 3 times a week! I have lost a few pounds, but I am still about 4.5 pounds away from my goal. However, I FEEL better due to diet and regular exercise, so if I never reach my weight goal I won't hate myself all that much.

5. Watch 16 Candles, Pretty in Pink and Breakfast at Tiffany's-

6. Run a 5K.
 
7. Do a color run! 
 
8. Have a Pinterest Party. 

9. Put together my recipe binder.

10. Buy a new living room set.
 
11. Get into couponing.  

12. Go on a fun weekend trip with my hubby
 
13. Find a killer mac and cheese recipe.

14. Get my first real Pedicure.
 
 15. Go on my first plane ride.
 
16. Take Rachel to a concert.
 
17. Read the Bible

18. Try 10 Pinterest recipes. - Done! Check out my Pinterest trials and errors page. 
 
19. Try 10 Pinterest crafts and sewing projects- Done! Check out my Pinterest trials and errors page
 
20. Make a book of tips for the girls from my "Smart Stuff" board on Pinterest. Started this one! I have been organizing my pins from that board as I go and sorting them into cleaning/homemade recipes/tips, etc.

21. Try 5 new makeup tips from Pinterest.- Done! Check out my Pinterest trials and errors page!

22. Get rid of the rest of our cheapy furniture.

23. Update the blog at least 1 days a week
 
24. Plan an AWESOME family vacation. - Done! We went on an awesome family vacation last month, more updates on that soon!

25. Start going to church on a regular basis. 
 
26. Finish decorating the "easy" rooms in our house. (Everything but the bathrooms, which are going to take more time and money.) ---I am hard at work on the living room! Progress is being made!

27. Set up a real budget and stick to it.
 
28. Build up my wardrobe... more office wear... and clothes to fit my new size.
 
29. Build up my Avon business.
 
30. Have a kick-butt 30th birthday celebration!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Summer Vacation Recap- Road Trip Day 2- The Four Corners, and one big Uh-oh!

On day two, we woke up early and headed out of Albuquerque. Our destination for day two was the Four Corners Monument (where Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah meet).
 
As we drove through New Mexico we took a quick detour to check out Shiprock, which is located near Shiprock, NM. It was worth the quick trip to check it out. Check out the link above for information on Shiprock itself. It is an interesting piece of the Navajo culture!
 
Here I am being a doofus, while Fish pretends to be shy. You would think being in the car together for two days would have made her feel NOT clingy.... but no.
 
Shortly after Shiprock we drove for a long time in the middle of nowhere before coming up on this sign! We were almost there!


Finally, we arrived at Four Corners. Who would have thought it would be this busy? Not me.


One of the plaques at the monument.


Rachel and I standing in line... for about an hour. Yeah.


Here are some things you need to know before visiting the four corners:
 
1. Wear sunscreen, a hat and take an umbrella if you have one. They have umbrellas ready for public use, but it was BUSY the day we were there and those four umbrellas did not cover many people. There is no real shade and you are standing in the middle of the dessert. You will be hot.
 
2. Take a bottle of water and snacks. They do have food and beverages there, but they are a little pricey.
 
3. Dogs are not allowed. Um... we apparently don't know how to read because we didn't see the signs stating that until we were leaving. No one said anything to us, thank goodness. Oops!
 
4. Be prepared to stand in line. We were in line for an hour. It would be a good idea to have one person stand in line while the others shop. I wish I had done that, for sure.
 
5. Be ready to take pictures, but take them fast! Be mindful of the folks in line behind you, because they will get grumpy if you take 500 pictures. We took 6 or 7 and we were quick!
 
6. Take cash with you! It is $5 per person to get in.... so we paid $20 for our car full.

It was a lot of fun and it was worth the wait for sure!

Before we knew it we were in Colorful Colorado!

 
By the time we were there I was getting tired. We grabbed some lunch at Dairy Queen in Cortez. (yummy!) and got on the road to our final destination, Gunnison, Colorado.
 
I took this picture as we could see the mountains... and as I started to fall asleep.


Not long after that I heard "Uh-oh.... the car is overheating."

Are you freaking kidding me?

So, we pulled over at a trailhead in the middle of nowhere... where we couldn't get any cell phone service and waited for the car to cool down. 


At least it was beautiful. There was a lot of exploring to do and a little creek to throw rocks into. The girls enjoyed it.

As did the puppy...

We found that the water pump wasn't working and the fan was stuck. yay.
 
But first, let me take a stranded motorist selfie.

So, we filled the water pump with creek water and rolled back down the mountain to the nearest town. Rico, Colorado: A slice of Paradise. Population: 500 (during the summer)... 200 during the winter.

We sat at the general store and felt sorry for ourselves while we contacted our in-laws to get us the rest of the way to Gunnison. (3 hours away!) Luckily, they were able to come get us with the help of a friend of theirs, plus his truck and trailer. So we waited....

We ate whatever the gas station could offer and then we took a talk.

We found this cool little park and instantly I was calm. I loved watching my babies play with mountains in the background. I could do it every day for sure.
Then, we walked through town and took pictures of the buildings. Rico is a very nice, quiet little mountain town. If I had to get stuck somewhere... I'm glad it was there.










Our ride arrived around 8:00 and we made it to Gunnison around midnight. It was not the best part of our road trip, but I am so thankful for my husband's family and their help. We all slept hard that night for sure. ;)

More to come.