Monthly Archives: October 2012

Wanderlust Wednesday: Subway, Zion National Park

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It’s Wanderlust Wednesday again, folks! If you missed the first one and my description of this new endeavor, you can go here.

Today’s feature is a little closer to home for me…like actually doable closer. Someday when my kids are older, I’d love it if we could all hike through the Subway Canyon of Zion National Park it Utah. We’d do the lower trail and hike to the emerald pools:

How beautiful is that? And practically in my backyard to boot. (Well, if my backyard was three hundred miles.)

Have you ever been to Zions? What’s your favorite trail/hike/area there?

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Caramel Apple Goodness Bars

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I know, I know – 2 blog posts in one day?! But I just couldn’t help but share this deliciousness. I don’t really know what else to call these, but Caramel Apple Gooness Bars seemed a pretty dang good fit.

So this morning I was craving a treat, as all good sugar addicts do. We have a TON of caramel in the fridge that we made for caramel apples from this recipe. Side note: It was okay. Not my favorite caramel recipe, as I found it a bit too sweet (can’t believe I just said that) and it doesn’t set enough for my liking. Along with my craving for sweets, I wanted something that incorporated a bottom crust, like you would find on lemon bars. But I didn’t want lemon bars – I wanted to use that caramel. After a bit of looking over some bar recipes and a lot of my own imaginations, this is what I came up with:

Yes, I already ate one. And as soon as I finish typing, I’ll probably go eat the rest of them too, so you’ll have to make your own. I’ll even provide you with a little recipe. So here’s what I did:

Caramel Apple Goodness Bars
Crust:
1 cup flour (I used wheat, you can use whatever kind you want)
1 cup oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (I think I would take this down to a half cup if when I do it again)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Mix those together and then cut in 1/2 cup butter or margarine with a pastry cutter or a fork until it’s crumbly. Press it all into a greased baking dish. I think mine’s 8×8, but it could be 9×9 – I don’t actually know. Throw it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes is up, pull it out and sprinkle the following on top:
1 apple – cored, peeled, and finely chopped (the apples were an afterthought, but I’m so glad I added them!)
About 1/4 cup nuts of your choice (I used walnuts)
However many chocolate chips you want
About 1/4 cup caramel sauce drizzled on top. If your caramel is too cold to drizzle, put it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so and then have a go at it.

Throw it all back in the oven for another 20 minutes. When you pull it out, you can drizzle more caramel over the top. Or not. Let it cool completely before cutting. Unless you’re like me and can’t wait, then just make sure you use a fork to eat it so you don’t burn your fingers.

ENJOY!

Halloween Sneak Peek Numero Dos*

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*or Why My Kitchen Floor Is Covered in Hot Glue Strings

Last week I gave you a little glimpse into the Halloween preparations going on at our house. This week, I have another one for you! Yay! You can’t contain your excitement, right?!

Without further ado, here it is:

Know what we’re going as yet? A little extra clue: The person wearing this fabulous item was a bit disappointed when she found out she didn’t get to wear just a leotard. For some reason her mother thought that would not be appropriate considering her age and the guaranteed Halloween weather round these here parts. And the fact that really, no one should just walk around in a leotard. Not even Beyonce. Not even her single lady friends.

Anyway…a little bit of info on this fabulous piece of work. ;) Found the skirt on clearance at Walmart for $2 – two sizes too big, but that was an easy fix. Star sequins from Michael’s for about $2. No way in the world above or below was I going to sew those suckers on, so out came the hot glue gun. If you ever embark on such a project yourself, be warned that the hot glue *might* cause the sequins to melt a bit. My strategy, after some trial and error, was to put 4-5 dots of glue down on the skirt, and then gently add the stars and then go back and push them down just a bit more. It takes a long time, very little skill, and a lot of patience. But honestly, you probably don’t want to embark on such a project, because who in their right mind would?

What are you going as for Halloween? Do you make your own costumes or wear pre-made ones?

Wanderlust Wednesday: The Northern Lights

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What do you do when you live your life with a bad case of wanderlust on a school teacher’s budget with a husband who thinks that walking to the mailbox is satisfying enough? Besides become addicted to The Amazing Race, that is? (Side note: I’m totally going to be on that show some day. As soon as I feel like my kids are old enough to abandon for a month, I’m there. You just wait.)

What was I talking about? Oh yeah.

Create a Pinterest board of places you’ll never get to see, of course! There’s a little song that goes with my board:

I could wear out all my vocals
conferring with the locals,
in Africa or Maine.
And my itch I’d be scratchin’
While my travel plans were hatchin’
If I only had a plane.

Oh we could go and see
The ocean near the shore.
We could eat some things we never ate before.
And then we’d sit
And eat some more.

I could go by bus or bike,
Which ever way I’d like.
I’d even take a train.
And my passport I’d be fillin’
While the sights I saw were thrillin’
If I only had a plane.

Okay, enough of that. The point being, I think I have a nomad’s heart. With many kids and few dollars, I know my wanderlust will never be satisfied. And that’s okay. It’s worth the tradeoff. BUT (if you buy 3 completos), I’m starting a new thing here called “Wanderlust Wednesday” in which I will be posting things from my travel board. Or not. Might depend on the week. As you might have noticed already, I’m not exactly Mrs. Consistent. I’ll post a picture or something from the board and if I have something to say about it, I’ll do that too. But sometimes it will just be a picture.

For today, I’d like to share with you one of the things I’ve wanted to see for as long as I can remember…like since the day I found out it existed: The Northern Lights.

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Stunning, right? Someday…someday.

Have you ever seen the Northern Lights? What is something in the world you’ve always wanted to see? Share in the comments!

Halloween Sneak Peek

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With Halloween just around the corner, I’ve been trying to get our costumes squared away. I’m not just a go-out-and-buy-a-costume-from-a-store kind of girl. Generally, I have to MAKE our Halloween costumes from things I find at thrift stores and on clearance racks and your basic craft supplies. You can blame it on my mother. No seriously, you can. Once, for a job interview at a preschool, she dressed up as Mother Goose. For a JOB INTERVIEW. Goose and all. Her costume skills are A. MAZE. ING. But I digress. The point is, I can’t buy a pre-made costume. It makes my insides turn. Well, unless I find it on a clearance rack or at a thrift store, of course.

So let me give you a little sneak peek into our costumes this year. But first, let me tell you a little about my little family and Halloween. We have a Halloween birthday in the house. We love to celebrate. We love to dress up. Even the husbandman does it. But we’re mean parents because, so far, we don’t let our kids be whatever they want. Oh no, we have to coordinate. There is always a theme. Always. In the past, we’ve been:

*Sesame Street: Oscar the Grouch, carried around in a garbage can by Bruce, accompanied by Cookie Monster
*A Disco Ball and 2 Disco Dancers
* A Butterfly, an Entomologist and his display board of bugs
* The Little Mermaid and Ursula with Chuck Noland and Wilson
* Fancy Nancy’s Family
* Sticks: a Stick Figure, Pick-up Sticks, Lipstick, Stickers, and Non-Stick
* Peter Pan: Tinkerbell, Captain Hook, the Crocodile, Smee, and Peter Pan’s Shadow
* Spooks: Grim Reaper, Witch, Vampire, Pirate, and Skeleton

(I was going to post pictures of all of those, but when I realized they weren’t on my computer anymore, I got lazy and you got a list instead. Sorry.)

Unfortunately (or maybe it’s a good thing), the kids started to have opinions about what we should be a couple of years ago.

I know, right?

But so far we’ve been able to at least keep a theme going.

And now onto this sneak peek I keep talking about. This is what I worked on today, via an old tutorial by Char from Crap I’ve Made:

Can you tell what we’re going as this year? That’s the only hint you’ll get for now! So, in Less Pinning More Doing fashion, I’m actually going to go ahead and give my schpeal about how the project went. Shocking, right?

THE RESULTS

Um, look up.

WHAT I LEARNED

*Freezer paper does, indeed, make a fabulous iron on stencil for fabric.

*If you want your image to be centered and straight on the fabric (say like, a t-shirt), you should probably measure and stuff or at least actually try to eyeball it before ironing that stencil on so you don’t end up with an off-centered crooked image on a shirt that has to be tucked in a little crookedly to not look terrible…not that I know anything about that. It’s just…you know, a good idea.

*I used basic white acrylic paint and applied it with a sponge and it worked great because I wanted it to be a bit uneven/distressed. I actually took some sandpaper to it afterward as well. I might sand it some more. If you want a nice, solid looking image, you might want to do spray paint or fabric paint or use an actual paint brush or something.

THE VERDICT

I love this! I thought it turned out great! I might start walking around my house finding things to stencil just so I can do it some more.