Saturday, June 30, 2018

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park with kids

Our family loves National Parks!  Camping, hiking, time together outside - these are all elements we enjoy.  

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado is one of the parks we explored in 2016. The canyon is beautiful, deep, and steep

This park is a gem, hidden right in Colorado.  Compared to many of the parks we have visited, Black Canyon was far less crowded.  The campground was simple and lovely.

Our family hiked the Rim Rock Trail from the South Rim Campground to the Visitor Center - beware, there are some steep drop-offs along this trail.  We brought our ergo carrier along and  I used it to carry our youngest on my back.

Overall, this is a beautiful and unique park.  Be sure to carry plenty of water while hiking here (or anywhere else).  Bring your hats and sunscreen.  Summer days will likely be warm, and evenings cool - and stars amazing!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Hospitality at Our House

We love to have people in our home.  Families, friends, visitors - we seek to have a home that is often open to others outside of our little family.

With young children, this can sometimes be challenging.  Here are a few things that I am seeking to remember as we practice hospitality.

1.  Keep expectations low.  Your guests are usually just thankful to be in your home.  Yes, you should clean up and prepare for your guests, but don't put pressure on yourself to make things perfect!  This wise advice was written in a card from our wedding and hung on our fridge for years:

"Your guests don't care what you serve, or how clean your house is.  
What matters most to your guests is that they were invited.  
Practice hospitality often."

2.  Embrace your entertaining style/personality.  We try to live fairly simple, relaxed lives.  If our guests know our family at all, they won't be expecting fine china.  BUT, that may be your style! If you like fancy, embrace it!  If you're more simple, embrace it!  Whatever will make you and your guests most comfortable.

3.  Make something you're comfortable serving.  Entertaining is probably not the time to pull a whole untested menu from pinterest to try out on your guests.  Maybe one new recipe, but try to stick mainly to stuff that you've cooked before.

4.  Try to make something your guests can eat/like.  I ask about food allergies and preferences and make a variety of types of food.

5.  Practice!  They more often you have people in your home, the easier it will be! We host community group in our home most weeks and try to have dinner guests often.  I also meet with ladies in our house and schedule play dates.  Our extended families live out of state, so we get to practice when they visit as well.

6.  Relax and enjoy your time together.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Scenery Saturday - Mount Falcon

It was a beautiful day for a hike with a wonderful friend. Mount Falcon is one of my favorite places to take people when they visit. There are beautiful views and ruins of a grand house. 

If you're if you're willing to hike a little further, you can also see where the people of Colorado wanted to build the Summer White House for the US Presidents. Unfortunately for the Presidants, and fortunately for those of us able to hike here, they only got as far as starting the foundation and lena cornerstone. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fancy Cut Off Shorts

It's snowing outside, but summer will be here soon!  Time to work on shorts!  Jeans with holes in the knees make great shorts. These are kicked up a notch by adding cute fabric for my fancy girl. 

These were pretty simple to make. 

Cut shorts to the desired length. 

Cut 2 strips of fabric 4 inches wide and an inch and a half longer than the length around each leg opening. 

The leg openings for these shorts were approximately 12 inches, so I cut strips 13 1/2 inches long.

Take one strip, fold it in half, putting long ends together. Press with iron to crease down the middle. 

Open up the strip fold each long side to the middle and press. 

Open up the strip, at one end, fold over 1/2 inch. Press. 

Fold a triangle one fourth of the way down. 

Refold all the way and press entire strip. This should give you a strip an inch wide with one finished end. 

Pin the strip around the open leg of the shorts. The raw/cut edge of the jeans should go along the fold of the strip. 

Try to line up the end of the strip with one of the seams on the shorts. Tuck the unfinished end inside of the finished end of the strip under the folded triangle. 

Repeat with the other short leg. 

Sew around the upper edge of the fabric using coordinating thread. Sew down the fabric where the strip overlap.  Repeat on the second leg. 

You're done! Enjoy the cute shorts!

These shorts were my inspiration, but I wanted more fabric at the bottom of the shorts. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Finn Mcmissile Cake

In honor of my husband's recent birthday, I wanted to share a little about the first cake he requested.

If you make fun cakes for your children, your husband will want one for his birthday too.
If you agree to make him one, your husband will want to choose what he gets.  
If you let him choose, he will pick something hard and talk about it for months.
If he talks about the "Finn McMissile cake" for months, you will do your best to make it.
If you make it, even though it isn't perfect, your husband and kids will love it.
If your husband and kids love it, they will keep asking for challenging cakes.

This cake was a 9x13 for the main body of the car and a round cake for the part that sticks up with the eyes - I trimmed both significantly.  You can see the pile of cake scraps behind Finn.
The frosting is buttercream with blue and a little black food coloring.  I was (and am) still working on getting frosting with a consistency that I like as well as the taste we prefer.  I like to use real butter instead of crisco to make my frosting, but that results in a softer frosting.  In my opinion the taste is usually worth sacrificing a little of the crisp look.  Although, it has resulted in a few cake fails.

This cake was made in early 2012.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Mountain of Cake

Happy Birthday to my Love!  He requested a mountain cake. 

This was a fun cake to make. The bottom is a 9x13 inch cake, with a couple smaller cakes stacked on top. If your cake is a mountain, it should be big! 

The mountain is brown because my husband likes chocolate frosting. It's snow capped, because our mountains are snow capped. The trees are modeling chocolate on toothpicks.