Monday, October 6, 2014

Kilgore Falls

We don't let having babies in the house hold us back. Much. Taking them out hiking? Not even a second thought.
 
We recently meandered down to a secretive little spot called Kilgore Falls. Horror of horrors, we had to cross the Pennsylvania line into Maryland to get there. But at only 28 minutes from our house, we thought we would take the chance.
 
I have a thing for waterfalls, so in my opinion, this was breathtaking. I count myself blessed to live so close so we can visit again when the season changes to icicle gorgeousness.
 
Kilgore Falls is secretive because it is a fairly new parcel of 67 acre park land purchased by Maryland in 1993. Kilgore is the second highest free-falling waterfall in Maryland with the first being Muddy Creek out in Western Maryland.The hike back to the falls is 1.2 miles and while not stroller-able it is very doable with kids. For specifics click HERE The park is very blemish free... no porta potties, picnic tables, trail markers. Just plain jane. Perfect. Muddy Creek Falls is next on my list, but is a little more then a drive from our house and more like a whole weekend adventure. Anyone up for a hike? 
 
The Sportsman couldn't resist seeing what was behind the falls. It was a little chilly for me to brave a swim. Oh and I had a baby attached to me.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Happy to Help

Ah friends! What an amazing summer this has shaped up to be. I just came in from a refreshing little run up our hill to visit the goats. They were pretty happy to see me, or maybe it was just the yummy salad scraps I put in their dish that made them so happy. I know I have said it before, but country living is the life for this girl. Even so... I guess a person never knows how they will "settle" on a new little patch of earth until the settling starts to happen.
 
One of the reasons I was so hooked on this particular patch of earth was because I really envisioned my kids grasping a good work ethic while living here. We have only been here a few months, but having our little goat friends has already been a puzzle piece in teaching the tots about responsibility. And it is never to early to start. Mine are 4 years and 9 months. And neither of them misses a thing.
 
 
This particular day, Sportsman-in-Training wanted to take a book along to read to Jill and Bill. Sportsman-in-Training could probably feed the goats himself, but I go along to make sure the gates are buttoned up right. I put lil' adventuress in the jogging stroller and up the hill we all go. When we get close to the pen, lil' adventuress starts laughing and clapping her hands. She totally knows what is going on.
 
 
She also knows what goat food tastes like.
 
 
There are days that Sportsman-in-Training has said he doesn't want the goats anymore and wishes we didn't get them. Man that hurts this momma... but it is usually when goat feeding time interrupts his little play schedule. Once I explain why we need to feed the goats and actually do the "job" he is usually back to being his happy little self. It also has taken some gentle reminding that although goats are not people, we still have to respect them and treat them nice.
 
 
 
Then there are moments like these where a pet becomes part of the family and caring for them becomes more fun then like a chore. And isn't that what a good work ethic stems from? I have no idea where Sportsman-in-Training picked it up... but every now and then he says "Happy to help, momma!" and that is when I think to myself, "Yes, he gets it!".
 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Stitch Fix {#1}

First of all... thanks Stitch Fix for educating my poor 4-year old son on what a real mature woman of XXX should look like. He asked me the other day what a dress was. It was then I thought my appearance and choice of dress might need a little tweaking. I haven't bought any real clothes since well before baby#2 and t-shirt and shorts have become my normal everywhere attire.
 
Enter.. Stitch Fix.
 
A nifty little company that sends you a box of 5 items whenever you want based on a personal profile that you provide. It's like having a personal shopper but way less expensive. It is $20 per box, but the FULL amount is credited toward any of your purchases. You also receive a hefty discount if you keep all the items. Also choose what prices you are comfortable paying. I chose the lowest, and felt the items I liked were worth the price.
 
So what was in the box!?
 
A personalized note from my stylist, along with little cue cards on what to pair with what. I really loved two of the items. First this cute chevron top. I liked the way it draped in back, the front was a little short but it worked.
 

And this dress. The Sportsman liked it, so I ended up keeping just the dress. The belt and shoes are mine and were actually on my donate to Goodwill pile. So I saved money on not having to buy a complete outfit. Yay!
 
 
The only negative was the necklace was missing a jewel. I wasn't terribly disappointed though since it is not my style and I would have sent it back regardless. Customer support was very quick in responding when I notified them of the problem.
 
 
They also sent a blue chevron maxi dress. I am just not a maxi dress person, I feel like I am wearing pj's in public. And a bird blousey thingy that was just way big, and I am not a big fan of birds.
 
Overall, I loved the experience. I loved not having to drag the kids to the mall to shop as well as being able to try the items on with my existing wardrobe and get opinions from my picky family members.
 
Want to give it a try?
 

Friday, July 11, 2014

One Hot Momma Summer Beverage



 It's Summer. It's Hot.
Who feels like packing the kids into a hot car for a cool summer Starbucks run... and paying an arm and a leg along the way... not this momma!
This is my summer go to beverage that takes me to another place far, far away from the kiddie pools, and baby dolls. But just for a minute, because I really do love those things.
My "I'm in a rush" version consists of two splashes of POM juice and a couple cups of tonic water. Easy! 


But my "kids are napping guilty pleasure" version goes like this.


Couple splashes of POM (I usually find this in the produce section of the grocery store), couple cups of tonic water, splash of cream, dollop of homemade whipped cream and a swizzle stick of strawberries.Think Italian cream soda. Yum.
The best part? You can control the calorie count. If you just use a splash of POM and diet tonic water this has nearly zero calories and very little sugar. 


Not to mention you can make three or four of these drinks for the cost of a Starbucks bevo. Feeling a little down? Replace the POM for Apple Cider Vinegar. Instant energy boost. 

Now turn off HGTV and go set up the sprinkler and do a little summer boogie with the kiddos! 
{That's me talking to myself by the way}.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Very Berry Pie

Hope you all are enjoying your holiday weekend. The highlight of mine was taking the kiddos out for their first fireworks show. Even lil'adventuress was totally into it! No pics, the poor stroller was at maximum capacity and would not allow for my camera bag. After we set up our little fireworks watching space a sweet little 5-year old girl walked over to us and said, "can I pet your baby?" So darn cute.

Anyways, just thought I would share my "kids are napping at the same time, omg... quick do something before they wake up" effort of the day.

Very. Berry. Pie.

Yum. I took advantage of all the fresh berries that are in season and whipped this baby up. You can use any mix of 4 1/2 cups of berries, this one is half strawberry and half blueberry. Enjoy!


Ingredients:

Pastry for double crust pie:
2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup butter cubed and chilled
6 T ice water

Berry Filling:
4 1/2 cups choice of berries
1/2 c white sugar
3 T cornstarch

Directions:
  1. Combine the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture, then gently toss with a fork. Push moistened portion to the side of the bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until all is moistened. Divide the dough in half. Form each half into a ball and flatten slightly. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer one piece of dough to a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough from the center to the edges to form a 12-inch circle. Wrap the crust around the rolling pin. Unroll it onto a 9-inch pie plate. Ease the crust into the pie plate, being careful not to stretch it. Trim the bottom crust evenly with the rim of the pie plate, and return the pastry-lined pie plate to the refrigerator.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the berries gently toss until berries are coated. Allow fruit mixture to stand for about 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375.
  5. Roll out the remaining pastry for the top crust. Stir the berry mixture and pour the filling into the pastry-lined pie plate. Place the top crust over the pie and trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the top crust under the bottom crust, pressing lightly to seal. Crimp the edges of the crust and cut vents in the top to allow steam to escape. To prevent over-browning, cover the edge of the pie with foil.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil.
  7. Bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Moving In


 Wowzers, what a month!

Hallelujah, we are all moved into our new home. Well, moved in but the basement is still full of boxes... out of sight out of mind, right?

It took us about a year to sell our house and purchase our new house. The new house was the first house we looked at in our search and a short sale, and let me tell you... there was nothing "short" about it. Banks work in their own time frame and all the waiting around was killer. Worth it, but killer! This was our first move as a family of four... moving with all that kid stuff added was a job. Hopefully we never have to move again. The running joke is how many times we have to tear apart the poor crib "that is one inch too big to fit through every door jam ever created" without officially saying heck with it and letting the baby live out her baby days in a pack'n'play.


The Sportsman gets an award for best pack job in the world. We were actually homeless for about 11 days during our transition with all of our belongings stuffed into this poor storage unit. It was a very unsettled feeling.


But seriously, we are in love with our new home. Especially the part where The Sportsman's commute is shorter and he is home for family suppers. Heart!


There has been a little bit of this going on...



I think the previous owners forgot their cat in one of rooms. Not cool, so we did have to replace flooring in two rooms, but things are coming together and hopefully I can take you on a little inside tour soon.


I am already dreaming up next years garden. Look at this full sun exposure people! I have no idea what to do with all this glorious sun.



We also picked up a few extra tots along the way. Jill and Bill (fondly named by Sportsman-in-Training) our new pygmy goats in residence. They are precious and have been a good chore and distraction for the kiddos through the "moving in" part of all this.



We are looking forward to a long holiday weekend and taking the kiddos to their first fireworks display. I am sure that will be a story for you... have a happy Fourth of July everyone!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Moving On

It's official! After a year on the market our sweet little country house sold. Tear. It was the first home either of us owned. The first place we dreamed of calling our own little patch of earth. The place we brought our two tots home from the hospital to. Where we labored every weekend to mend, and shape into our own space. Where I spent many hours encouraging all kinds of garden and landscape plants to grow. Where The Sportsman conquered a forest of bamboo. Most importantly where so much love and friendship grew. We will miss you little home! We are so thankful for the five years we called you our own.


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