Life Lately

Hello there!

Sorry I haven’t been around much this past week. I’ve been spending every spare moment (so pretty much whenever Brynlee is sleeping) working on this giant project!

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I’ve had it in my head to make a denim quilt for a few years now, but never really had the motivation, or enough jeans to get it done. But recently I had the idea to make this as a gift for someone and begged every member of my family to donate their old jeans to me and WHO-HOO! I finally got it done! It definitely helped having a time crunch, it needed to be done by this Thursday and I just got all the jeans on our camping trip the other weekend so I really had to buckle down and get it done! This is by far the largest patchwork quilt I’ve made, I usually stick to baby sized quilts since they don’t take up so much time, but I have to admit, I’m a little hooked and am looking forward to making more quilts in the future.

Aside from that, we had a pretty low key weekend, Saturday was spent just relaxing and spending time together. Brynlee loves it when her Daddy is home and really soaks up every moment getting to be with him.

On Sunday we got some much needed yard work done, even though it was like a million degrees outside we really needed to rip out all of our old dead plants from our garden to prepare for fall/winter planting this week. And our front yard was looking mighty sad with all the remains of my poor burned up flowers from early this summer. I have yet to find a plant that can take the July/August heat in our from yard. It get nearly full sun and not even succulents stand a chance…

B1Oh and I have a little proud mama moment, Brynlee drew her first Mickey this weekend! She was so excited and so was I! She’s been practicing and practicing her circles and finally put them all together. Now it’s nonstop Mickey drawing in this house.

So anyway, onto the week and the beginning of Fall. I am really looking forward to some cooler weather over hear and of course for the PSL. I’m really excited to try it now that they’ve changed the recipe to include real pumpkin, I’ve heard it’s so much better.

I hope you all had fantastic weekends too!

Happy Fall Friends!!!

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Life Lately

You know when you are really looking forward to something and are so excited and just can’t wait for that something to get here and how sometimes when you are that excited about it you build up all these awesome expectations of how perfect everything is going to be and you are going to have the most fun time ever?

And then not only does it turn out to be a complete flop, but in a moment of pure desperation you completely loose your sanity and end the day in a pile of tears and telling your husband to pack everything up because we are leaving RIGHT. NOW. even though it is already dark, but you don’t think of that because, remember, you have lost your sanity and so all rational thought has gone completely out the window regardless of what anyone says?

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I have been looking forward to our annual August camping trip all summer long! It is always such a treat to escape the heat for a few days and get back to nature without all the distractions of everyday life. Or at least it normally is anyway.

This was Brynlee’s 3rd time camping (here’s the 1st and here’s the 2nd) and because Brynlee did so well when we went in May, I really thought she would do even better on this trip!

Oh, how wrong I was!!!

Brynlee absolutely refused to sleep! And while I really didn’t expect to get much of a nap out of her during the day, I thought she’d be so exhausted from playing all day that she would get a good night’s sleep.

Well, she was exhausted alright, just a little too exhausted, the first (and only) night we were there she only slept about 3.5-4 inconsistent hours, which made for a very tired toddler and a very tired mama the next day.

Don’t get me wrong, we did have fun times, of course spending time with our family was amazing, but a lot of that time was broken by a very tired, very cranky Brynlee. Oh and did I mention she wouldn’t eat either? For the 2 days we were there she barely ate a thing, not even the dutch oven mac and cheese that I was sure she would love!

And it was at that point that I broke.

Saturday evening, Dutch oven dinner night (which I didn’t even get to eat), while Brynlee was vehemently rejecting dinner, the tears just started streaming down my face with no end in sight. Landon offered that we could just go home then and after thinking about trying to survive another sleepless night with Brynlee I said “I want to go home!”

I must admit that on the drive home I started second guessing myself, it was not very fun! Brynlee was not happy, the road we had to take isn’t a pleasant one during the day, let alone at night, it’s very twisty, and there was a ton of traffic. Far more than we’ve ever had before, even during the day.

But when we finally got home, Brynlee was so excited! We walked her upstairs to her crib and she immediately wanted in and when I laid her pillow down on the mattress she went “oooohhhhh!!!”, laid her head down on it, yawned and was asleep before we even left the room. And then I knew, it was right for us to come home. My poor, over tired baby just needed her own bed and she was finally able to sleep.

It wasn’t all bad, we did have fun times and Brynlee had A LOT of fun, and since I’ve already rambled on far too long, I’m going to let the pictures do (most of) the talking.

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*Our home for the weekend.

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*Oh hello, Mickey, of course you went everywhere with Brynlee and was a dirty mess by the time we got home.

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*Grandma brought a hammock and I’m sure she would have really like to use it, these two, however, decided to take it over.

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*Oh look, some dirt!

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*Oh, and there’s some more dirt over there!

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*”What??”

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*Ummm, yeah, Brynlee thought this was a slide and it provided a good 30 minutes of entertainment!

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*My little explorer

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*This really is the only way to hike…

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*Oh, wait, maybe I will walk for a minute…

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*Or not… when Brynlee saw this view she said “WHOA!!!!”

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*Hey look! I actually made it in a picture!

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*And again with the dirt…

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*I am so sad that I missed this dinner!!! I hear it was amazing…

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*Lola had a lot of fun too and has since spent the last 2 days sleeping, trying to recuperate from all the fun!

And that, my friends, was our weekend. I hope yours was better than mine and you didn’t loose your head quite as spectacularly as I did.

And I hope you enjoyed the multitude of run-on sentences…

Dutch Oven Recipe Roundup

We are escaping the heat (hopefully) and heading to the great outdoors for our annual family camping trip this weekend!

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I LOVE camping!!! And I’m hoping Brynlee will too. This will be her 3rd time camping and each time has gotten easier. She loves being outside and able to play all day long. Bedtime is always a little interesting, she’s never been a good sleeper away from home, hopefully she will tire herself out during the day so bedtime wont be an issue.

One of my favorite things about camping, other than escaping it all for a few days, is the food! We always indulge in delicious dutch oven cooking and between that and the s’mores (my fav!) I am in food heaven!

We usually try to get to our favorite camping spot on Friday, but with work schedules and school schedules, everyone is always arriving at different times and there are always a few that don’t make it until after dark, so its always been our tradition to keep Friday dinner simple and just make tin foil dinners. Over the years we’ve made all different ones, last year I did a fajita theme and they were delicious!!

After that though, we go all out!! So today I thought it would be fun to round up some of my favorite camp food recipes.

For breakfast, this Mountain Man recipe can’t be beat! It makes a ton of food and is so delicious, you can’t help but go back for more! Plus its basically a 1-pot meal so fewer dishes, which is always a plus when camping.

For lunch, we usually just keep it simple with sandwiches and other easy food that can be taken with us should we decide to go on a hike or have picnic somewhere other than our camp spot.

And for dinner, Dutch Oven is my absolute favorite!!! It truly is the best form of cooking (in my opinion) and everything always comes out so full of flavor.

We always do one or two meat dishes, Ribs are always delicious and the pre-seasoned tri tip from Costco is always a huge hit too!

These Cheesy Potatoes cannot be beat and I don’t consider it a successful Dutch Oven dinner without them, I always eat way too many!!

And of course you can’t do dutch oven without a cobbler of some sort, they are so easy to make and if you top them with a little homemade whipped cream, YUM!

I’m usually always in charge of a dessert too and since there is always at least one cobbler, I usually try to make a chocolate-y dessert so we have some options. This year I plan on making this one.

As you can see, when it comes to camping, all bets are off and we certainly are not counting any calories.

What are some of your favorite camping recipes, are there any I need to add to our camping repertoire?

That Time Brynlee Went on an Amazon Shopping Spree…

Oh yes, that happened!

After an incident involving our iPad that resulted in a cracked screen, we decided it might be a good idea for Brynlee to get her own tablet. And so when Amazon Prime Day rolled around and their Fire’s were on huge discount we went ahead a pulled the trigger. We ended up selecting this Fire, this case and the 2-year protection plan that will replace it no matter what Brynlee might do to it!

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And so far, we have loved it! It makes grocery shopping a breeze, no more screaming, no more standing up in the cart trying to climb out, no more trying to strip in the middle of the store, she is entertained the whole time and I can get in and out of the store in record time!

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If it were up to her, we would take it everywhere with us.

And so, one morning last week, when she woke up way too early, I decided to give her the Fire to entertain her while I took a shower and got ready.

And, not surprisingly she was perfect! She happily sat on my bed playing the apps and watching some of the shows we loaded on there.

Once I was done, we went about the rest of our day, met my Aunt for a little swimming date and dinner that evening and I didn’t really think much of it.

Meanwhile, Landon was getting bombarded by emails from Amazon…

On my way home from dinner with my Aunt I called Landon and our conversation went a little something like this:

Landon- “So, I got a bunch of emails from Amazon today…”

Me- “Really, why” (obviously having no idea what had occurred, I was wracking my brain thinking of what the last thing I order was and if there could possible be an issue)

Landon- “Well, the first one was from buying a Mickey Mouse app for Brynlee’s Fire, at first, I thought maybe you got it for her”

Me- “What? No, I haven’t gotten any apps lately”

(By this time Landon is trying to hide his laughter, he had already figured out what happened, but I was still clueless)

Landon- “But then I started opening up the other emails…”

In addition to the Mickey Mouse app, Brynlee also bought the entire 2nd season of Paw Patrol, as well as one episode from season 1, and single episodes of two other shows I’d never heard of and three other random apps.

I didn’t know if I should be upset or laugh! Eventually the laughter won over and Landon and I sat on the phone just laughing about what a little sneak our daughter is! We are going to have to watch out for that one when she’s older!

Having only used and iPad (where you have to type in your password for everything!!!) I had no idea that that might not be the case for the Fire!!!

And Brynlee certainly took advantage of the naivety.

We have since adjusted the settings to now ask for the password for any purchase and Brynlee has since protested when she has gone in to the app store trying to buy more things.

I guess I should be thankful that we caught it when we did before she could do too much damage!

And while I’m sure if I contacted Amazon and told them what happened they would have let me return then (Amazon’s customer service is amazing), we decided to just keep them since we knew Brynlee would use them.

Anyway, once again, lesson learned, NEVER underestimate your toddler!!!

Life Lately

This weekend was HOT!!! We spent as much time as possible at my SIL’s pool and other than that we tried to stay cool indoors.

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And part of that included lots of dress up and wearing 4 tutu’s at once.

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Brynlee has been boycotting veggies for the past couple of months, but just recently she’s  gotten even pickier. The only foods I can always count on her eating are granola, pickles, yogurt, pasta, cheese and luckily (for me) smoothies, anything else is a hit or a miss and its usually a miss. It’s extremely frustrating, I’m always worried about her being hungry! But at least she still loves smoothies, so I just try to jam pack them full of fruits and vegetables and so some nights that means pickles and smoothies are on the menu for dinner.

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Friday night I thought it would be fun to make homemade white pizza. Brynlee loves pizza (hello cheese!) and I loved that I was able to throw some some chicken on it and Brynlee actually gobbled it all up!

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Did I mention it was HOT this weekend, this is basically all my car said Saturday and Sunday, really, I was beginning to think it was broken!

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And so we took refuge in the pool!

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Brynlee loves to swim and she is getting so good at it!

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I love that it exhausts some of that endless toddler energy and almost guarantees a good nights sleep and great nap!

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Swimming is actually the only time she will eat any veggies, whenever we have a pool day she loves taking a little veggie tray break and will devour the broccoli and carrots!

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I hope you all had wonderful weekends and managed to stay cool too!

Our Pool (and Lake) Day Essentials

Since we spent last weekend at the lake and had some pool time fun with my Aunt yesterday, as well as plans with my SIL for a pool day this weekend, I thought I would do a post of our pool time essentials.

Brynlee loves the water, she would stay in the pool all day if we let her and from day one, we never let her near the water without wearing either a puddle jumper or a life jacket, she doesn’t protest when we put them on her and actually gets excited when we pull them out because she knows whats coming next.

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Sunscreen: Brynlee inherited her Daddy’s fair skin and will burn really easy if we are not super vigilant about sunscreen. I have tried all different brands and the ones that have worked the best are the Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection and Honest Company Sunscreen. I also reapply ever hour to hour and a half to make sure she is protected. And I love the Honest Sunscreen for my face, it’s not too greasy and rubs in really well.

Rashguard Swim Suit– For extra protection, especially when we will be outside for longer periods of time, I love the long sleeve rashguard sets. I found this one at Target for only $14 and it has been great!!!

Swim Diaper– If we are going to be spending all day at the lake, I will use disposable swim diapers, but if we are just having a pool day and will only be in the water for a little while I always turn to Honest Co. swim diapers. They are soft and not bulky and Brynlee definitely prefers wearing them to the disposable kind. Plus I love all of their cute prints!

Hat– I have so many hats for Brynlee to protect her head from the sun’s rays and she is finally on board with wearing them. I still rub sunscreen all through her hair, just in case she decides to boycott the hat, but I always have at least one in my diaper bag and take them with me whenever we are going to be outside for extended periods of time.

Sunglasses– Oh my, does this girl have a lot of sunglasses and she loves wearing them too. Gotta protect those baby blues!

Hooded Towel (similar)- I love hooded towels for pool or lake days. Because of the hood, it is easier for Brynlee to keep it wrapped around herself, once again, it protects her head from the sun and since this one just happens to be one of her favorite characters, she loves wearing it!

Straw Bag– And of course, something to tote everything around in. I love this straw bag because it is big enough to fit a few towels, a change of clothes and all of our other necessities, plus it stands up on its own so I don’t have to worry about things spilling out. And when I’m not using it at the pool, it works great at home as a basket to corral towels, blankets or even toys in.

I also always bring a cold bag with us wherever we go full of snacks (and sometimes lunch if it’s an all day-er) and plenty of water. Brynlee has really been loving veggie trays lately (which is weird because I can’t get her to eat a vegetable at home to save my life, but give her one by the pool and she devours it!), so I usually always bring one of those, as well as, yogurt pouches, Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies, pretzels and sometimes popcorn.

Having our essentials with us for pool or lake days makes them a breeze and allows us all to have a lot more fun! What are some of your pool day essentials? Anything I’m leaving out that would make things easier on us?

DIY- Micky and Minnie Mouse Inspired Wreaths

When planning Brynlee’s Mickey Mouse themed birthday party I knew I wanted to 1) make most of the decorations myself and 2) make them so that I (or the guests) could reuse them in some way or possible put them in Brynlee’s room since I know she would love anything Mickey in there. The Mickey Mouse Ears I made were in place of party hats for all the kids (and a lot of the adults too) and the Minnie Mouse bows that I added to some of them with tape so that the girls would be able to take them off and wear them once the party was over, met these conditions.

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And so I came up with the idea for Mickey and Minnie inspired wreaths! I was a little nervous about whether they would turn out, in my head they looked really cute, but I wasn’t sure how well I would be able to replicate it. I’m happy to report they turned out just as cute in person and I received multiple compliments on them. Plus Brynlee LOVED them when she saw them after I decorated and would frequently point at them excitedly and Kickey and N-ie (which if you don’t speak Brynlee means Mickey and Minnie.

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To start you will need 2- 12″ wire wreath forms for the heads and 4- 6″ wire wreath forms for the ears, as well as lots of black tulle. I used about 1 1/2 rolls.

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First I cut a ton of 5″ strips from the tulle.

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Then I placed my 6″ wreath form ears where I wanted them on the 12″ wreath form head.

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Using the tulle, I tied them together to secure them in place. Then I continued tying the tulle around each ring on the wreath forms until it was full. I tried to keep the same amount of strips on each similar section (ex. both the ears had the same number of strips tied to it) so that it didn’t look lopsided in one area. Once I was finished I trimmed any excess tulle that was longer than the rest to make sure they kept their circular shape. For Minnie Mouse, I just attached one of the bows I made in this tutorial.

This wasn’t exactly the quickest project ever, but it was very simple to make and would make any Mickey or Minnie lover out there very happy, so if you know one, give it a try!

Happy Crafting!