summer bucket list epic fail

You know my big summer bucket list? You know, the one I made that had all the fun adventures me n my kid wanted to do? Well, my planning just ran into a few epic fails. Okay, maybe epic is a strong word, but hey, it got your attention, right?

Recent epic fails on the #summerbucketlist

Event #12:

This past school year, my daughter had a school trip to Ci Ci’s pizza, and wanted me to go there with her. (I think I had gone to one 20 years ago…) Since the price was right, we went. So did four bus loads of sweaty summer camp kids. We walked in to a small room packed with assorted kids in color coordinated shirts, smelling like oregano and a mixture of sweaty socks and cheese. Ewww.

Amazingly, there was one empty table.

So… we sat down and attempted to get our share of the kill  pizza.

What is it about kids without supervision and unlimited pizza that turns them into raging hyenas?  My daughter and I felt like little vultures, watching as crowds of kids piled 5, 6, 7 EIGHT slices on their plates. We watched, waited, and hoped that a camp counselor would approach one of them to remind them that it’s a BUFFET, and you can GO BACK for more.

Instead, we watched as each kid took away half a pizza each until the only pie left was a spinach and artichoke.

That’s when my inner mama bear came out.

I went up to the most managerial looking employee and stated me concern for the lack of proper food for my young. But, I was nice and they brought out a special pizza for us to chose from before the hyenas. ( My germaphobic self is cheering at this point)

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So, we ate our pizza and made it though the pack to even score second plates.

So, why is this event falling into epic fail status? Because, when we left so did the camps. So, mental note to myself: DON”T GO WHEN THEY FIRST OPEN.

More epic fails:

By the time my daughter wakes up and has breakfast, half the morning has gone by and it’s too Africa hot to do anything but swim or stay inside. All those outdoor plans on the list? Untouched.

By the time we get out of the house to go to a destination it’s either: lunch time or naptime. She’s perfectly content everyday to play at home with her toys and play with her bird, draw and swim at the neighbors pool.I offer movies, the zoo, the museum… you name it. Then she tells me she doesn’t like the crowds. My kid inherited my husbands dislike of crowds. Great. Back to the bucketlist.

So… now it’s “uncrowded event” planning, like visiting off season touristy spots, pet shops, nature centers, and flea markets. We also managed to make cookies and bring it to a fire station, which was a feat because each time we went there they were out on a call… it got to the point that my husband suggested we call 911 and say we had a fire so that we could deliver the cookies.

2013-07-09 13.38.00We didn’t end up calling…we finally found them at the station during a break and they gave us a personal tour. It was awesome…( I got to see the kitchen) And they were having massive steaks for supper later that night.

There was even a female firefighter on duty, so guess what my daughter wants to be now? Just like her.

That’s my girl 🙂


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summer ’13 days 1-3

As I write this, I am nursing the worst headache I’ve had in months. I took an Advil, (no, this isn’t a sponsored post) and I’m hoping that by the time I finish writing, I can get out of my jammies (tank top and shorts) and continue with my days’ plans. I need to find a palm for our patio, buy some mulch, buy some detergent ’cause I can’t avoid laundry with that excuse anymore,go to the post office, and pay some overdue fines at the library. I’m dreading the last part because I always get a lecture from the librarian about the easy ways to avoid the fines. I know I can renew online… I just wish I could pay my fines online as well to avoid the dreaded lecture. ( Note: This post was started on one day, completed two days later)

Anyway, funny thing about life.

Sometimes, God removes people that are unhealthy to us, and we may not even realize it. Relationships end. People grow apart. In all the heartbreaking agony that sometimes trails these situations, it helps to reflect on circumstances in the past where there was a loss… it may be the first “love” at 15 and he/she smashed your heart like a ketchup packet, it may be the “best friend” that didn’t prove to be that when she stabbed you in the back at prom… whatever the loss or situation was, when you look back on it, you realize it was all for the best. And, in turn, it saved you from destruction.

Now, I’m not writing this because I’m in dire straits at a loss. I’m perfectly content with my current “loss”.  Sometimes it’s okay to rejoice in the removal of people that you always felt didn’t really “like” you all along. And, there is freedom in that. I’m not talking about harboring hatred, or malice toward someone either…. because that’s outright wrong. However, boundaries are not wrong. If someone triggers emotions or unhealthy attitudes in you,  establish a peaceful distance in the relationship. Peaceful distance is the object here.

Sometimes you might need to be the trigger man to establish a boundary, sometimes the other person might help it along. Either way, if it needs to happen, be content, and be at peace.

After all, nothing in life is permanent.

In the past I have lost many people, that end up resurfacing years later bigger and better than before. It’s a blessing.

So…. that was part of my personal first day of summer. As far as activities go….

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There was a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Science Center & Aquarium, being a “foodie” I was thrilled that there was (FREE!) food for everyone. There was even bagels, cream cheese, yogurt and croissants…mmmm

2013-06-07 10.09.00There were also cake pops, but they didn’t stay on their stick very well.

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We marveled at the prehistoric skeletons, and gazed at the creatures from the sea…

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Then, we went home and the rains came again. It has been raining here for days on end… the grounds are soggy and there are several flooded roads, so much for “The Sunshine State”

So…. we made doughnuts:

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(It happened to be national doughnut day) I NEED a calendar that has all the national food related days/months/weeks. Because it seems like I’m always finding out it’s national _______ day too late.

The next day, it rained once more. So, we opted to go on an indoor adventure with Dad.

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We had a hard time deciding on toppings.

Me: “Hmmmm, how about mushrooms and olives?”

Her: ( see face above)

Me: “Pepperoni and cheese?”

Her (see face above)

Finally: (a decision was made)

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We were totally blessed because we had ordered a small (4 slices/$8.50+toppings) and the waitress brought out a medium that they ended up making on accident. But then she said the magic words: “We won’t charge you for it, though”

Oh yeah! Woo-hoo! Love saving me some $$$$$!

Then we went home and I had made a poolash earlier. In case you don’t know what a poolash is, it’s basically an aged yeast mixture for making crusty, chewy bread. (Think Panera)

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I made a olive & thyme bread. I’ll post about that and the doughnuts over on The Village Cook  

For now, I’m in scrapbook/blog mode. I’m scrap booking my summer and blogging all at once. I know that there is a company that can print your blog posts and bind them in a book, so I can always do that one day if I need something to hold, but for now, this works perfect for myself.

So, I have wrapped up the first three days on Summer so far- the fourth day was spent at church where my husband finally officially became a member. (I had been one for years already) It was a nice event, they had a gorgeous breakfast set up (I forgot to snap pics) and some local donuts that were out of this world…. mmmm .

I have to share how excited I am that he’s finally walking the walk with me… but that may be a whole new blog or series in itself. The amazing changes that have taken place in his heart and mind- things that could not have ever happened without a divine intervention. I have been blessed by being able to witness this extraordinary event first hand.  It’s pretty cool, to say the least. 🙂



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fondant fall leaves

I had big plans for cupcakes this weekend, and these little leaves were going to adorn the tops. Well, they eventually will…as of now, these little leaves are still out on my counter as I still try to find/create the perfect cupcake recipe for them.

I’m thinking maple spice.


I made these by gently mixing assorted colors of fondant… you can buy pre-made & colored fondant- or save lots of money and making your own.

Here’s how to make your own:

Homemade Fondant

Of course, I can’t take full credit for the leaves. My daughter walked in and immediately assumed I was working with Play -Doh and had to join in on the fun. Which was perfectly fine until she wanted to make other shapes, then I had to explain how we needed just leaves.

Then I gave in and let her make Christmas  Autumn  trees.

To make these:

Gently knead tinted fondant together.

Roll out to 1/8″ thickness.

Cut with desired mini cookie cutter.

Place on wax paper or a Wilton Drying Rack (pictured above) to give more curl.

(You can also gently curl the leaves by hand after they have dried 1 hour. )

Use them to decorate pies, cakes, cookies, cupcakes… your counter…. 😉

I will keep you updated on the progress of the baked good that these will end up on.  Until then, head over to The Village Cook for an easy Sicilian Tart



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rose cake

I made this cake for my daughter’s 5th birthday… wait. I realize I have some explaining to do. What happened to summer? Where have I been?

Well… for starters, swim lessons started which kept us busy 1 1/2 hours every day… then there was vacation, and well… life.

Anyway, I’m back now and I have cake. So will you forgive me?

I almost feel guilty accepting compliments on this cake. They’re undeserved, because if you can draw a spiral, you can totally make this cake.

The secret is in the tip. It’s a 1M tip, and you can find it at craft stores and cake supply shops. My cake… err, frosting isn’t perfect; the frosting was a little too dry… that’s why there are ragged edges on some of the roses. I should have scraped them off for a re-do, but I was attempting to accomplish a weeks’ worth of tasks on this particular day…. and I knew my family wouldn’t mind. If it were for a client… well, I wouldn’t be cramming it into a one day project, that’s for certain.

To make the roses, it’s as simple as starting at a center point and swirling around it. You can make them as small or large as  you wish, I like the big ones, that makes it look like a rose blanket was draped over the cake.

I tossed in some sugar pearls to distract from the less than perfect frosting consistency… 😉 Sugar fixes everything.

For the frosting recipe I used this one: Wilton Buttercream

I’ll be honest with the cake: It’s a basic vanilla cake mix that I doctored up but substituting the oil for melted butter, and the water was substituted with milk. I added a tablespoon of  orange zest also 🙂 That’s the secret to almost homemade. Shhhh….

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kids room clutter conquer

I have to admit this and forgive me if I sound like a horrible mama; but sometimes I choose toys by how many (or few) tiny parts they have. Not because of choking hazards thankfully we are past that stage. Although I still have to say “Don’t lick that” a few too many times.

Sometimes, all those little parts make me crazy. All the little plastic hair pony brushes, Barbie shoes… ugh. If you have a boy, it may be little AK-47s or plastic insects. Then again, I have the plastic insects as well.

My point being, is that the little parts end up everywhere and it’s impossible to keep them contained, much less WITH the play set they came with.  There are tons of great colorful bins they sell out there but , to be honest I simply haven’t had the loot for a bin-overhaul. I came up with a much thrifty-er version. Yay me.

I took my covered boxes idea a step further, and let my daughter pick out the scrapbook paper for her “toy boxes”.

She has good taste.

The boxes were FREE. The paper was 6/$1.00 and the glue stick was 3/$1.

Can’t get much cheaper thriftier than that.

So, until I have an extra $75 to color-cordinate bin shelf her room, these will be just fine. I’m trying to help her to keep the ponies, little pets and people separate… but she said they like to be mixed up. I’m okay with that. 🙂

For detailed step by steps, go here covered boxes

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what’s in the lunchbox

Crustless PB & J…cheese stick, grapes and cherry tomatoes…

and a little note with hearts and happy faces on it…since she can’t read yet.

Hearts and happy faces still get the point across, anyway.

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pumpkin pop tarts

Well, well well… what to do with all that yummy pumpkin pie filling?

How bout a maple crust?

Oh yeah. I’m feeling that!

Perfect fall breakfast.

Speaking of  fall, would you believe the wind chill tonight is going to be in the 30’s?! Wait. Let me remind you:

I live in south Florida.


I love getting chilly once in a while. The only thing, it’s a lot of work for me and the hubby. We have to bring all our turtles, tortoises and lizards in the garage. One of them, Joey takes both of us to move.  But, that’s okay.

I woke up to a facebook chain letter today also. I normally ignore those… this one I didn’t. It had this wonderful paragraph in it… I decided to share that with y’all.

‘May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us ”

Isn’t that nice?

I love it because it’s true.

Back to pop tarts.

Maple pie crust.

This is going to make my pecan pie rock. Oooo- IDEA! Pecan pie pop tart.

I need to go invent flavor for those folks.

like my little brown blob?

Things I have learned this year: I love using rulers in the kitchen. Buying a dough scraper for $2.99 was the best investment. I love making cooking videos. I just need a camera that can pause while recording, and not create a whole new file….suggestions? I need me one of those. For you guys. 🙂

Note:  It’s not baby food.

It’s my pie filling.

this is where I do my “work” when I’m not in the kitchen.  This is my snack yesterday. I shared .


Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts with a maple crust:

For the crust:

1 stick butter

1 1/2 c flour

1 c light brown sugar

1 egg yolk

3 tbs maple syrup

optional: maple flavor, if you have it 1tsp

Work the flour and butter mixture with your fingers until a coarse crumb texture is achieved. Add the egg yolk and syrup, and work into a dough. Chill 15 minutes.

Roll out to 1/8″ thickness, and using a ruler make rectangles that are 4″x2″

Place filling in and seal. (2 tbs)

Bake at 375 for 17-25 minutes.


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spiderweb pizzas… and (gasp!) a video

Well, if you know me on twitter and facebook, you know I got a bit ballsy yesterday and decided to make a video.  Not sure why… I think I wanted to see if I could do it. It was something I was scared to death of when I was in Project Food Blog-I decided to conquer my fear of that challenge, even though I didn’t make it that far. (sniffle,sniffle)

Now-I have to tell you- I did two takes. Because I started to crack up laughing.

Next time, I will post the outtakes.

I also still took some pictures. Because I thought I would chicken out.

aren’t they spoooooky?

I went all pre-made on em’, too.

Because there are times when you just can’t be all “homemade-betty-martha-crocker-stewart”.

Sometimes you have to be an “astronaut food mom”.

And, you know what? That’s okay, too. 🙂

I think I am rambling to stall….I am still a bit nervous. I have no freakin’ idea why.

So…. what are you going to make for Halloween dinner?

These are easy and fun.

Here’s how to do em:

Woah- doesn’t it look like I am yawning-or yodeling? Paused videos are funny that way.

Let me know what you think.  🙂

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monster mouths

Quite possibly, this could be my shortest post. Nah, I think I will ramble a bit.

It’s the week before Halloween, that means I am going to be “spookifing” food.

Take the after-school snack of apples and peanut butter:

spooky, eh?

It’s sliced apples bound together with peanut butter and slivered almond “teeth”.

Oh yeah, healthy, vegan, and spoooooky!

See. A short post.

But, on my agenda for the week is something spooky every day. And, a giveaway. Some of you guys know about it, already….

So… don’t forget to come visit me – it will be worth it.

If you must have a hint…it involves pasta.

And machinery.

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