Friday, August 31, 2012

Mandarin Orange Cake

The weekend is finally here.  And it's a long weekend to boot!  Hells yeah!  I am super excited because
 1) we get to celebrate Christy's birthday 2) we get to celebrate my brother in laws birthday 3) we get to celebrate Labor Day....thats a lot of celebrating!  And along with celebrating that means FOOD!  I like fun and easy food and plan on making a few things. 

One thing I made last weekend that disappeared quickly was this Madarin Orange/Pineapple Cake.  Super easy and super yummy.

Need: one box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 can (think it was 12 oz maybe) mandarin oranges
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapples
4 eggs
1 box (4oz) vanilla instant jello
1 tub of cool whip

Mix the cake mix, 4 eggs, vegetable oil, and 3/4 of the can of madarin oranges.  I didn't use all the juice out of the oranges but about 1/2 of it.  Mix all of these together.  This will help tear up the oranges (don't want them to remain whole pieces).  Bake the cake at 350 for 35-40 mins.  Then let cool.  I let mine cool about two hours.  Next mix the crushed pineapples (juice and all) with the jello and cool whip.  Spread this onto the cake.  Now you are ready to chow down. 

The last bite!

I didn't even get to take a picture of the finished product!  Only cake that got eatten down to the last bite!  Nice and cool for those warm summer days.  Give it a whirl and tell me what you think.  Have a super weekend peeps. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Decorating for the Summer

Summer is slowly coming to a close.  The two oldest are slightly excited to get back to school.  I still can't believe how fast they have grown.  All of them.  It breaks my heart.  But before summer is totally gone I snapped picture of the beach decorations that we put up in honor of summer :) 

I really must get my camera back out and start using it again! 

Of course the Beach Tree.

This weekend we'll take down the  beach decorations and put up the "Back to school" decorations.  I store most of my decorations for the tree and around the house in rubbermaid containers.  I counted them the last time I was in the attic.....22 or them.  And I need two more.  Some of those are the extra big/longs ones too!  Dang I got a lot of decorations. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Saude Creek Winery

I've blogged about it before and I'll probably blog about it again, Saude Creek Winery.  Being that this particular winery is less than an hour from the house it's very convienent to us and even if it wasn't I would still go.  The atmosphere here is very laid back and family oriented.  Last week I got an copy of their monthly newsletter in my e-mail....they were advertising an outdoor concert on Saturday night.  Well this particular couple just happened to not have any plans for Saturday guess where we went! 

Now a lot of things can go wrong with an outdoor concert, most of which are weather related.  And this particular Saturday it looked like the concert might be a wash.  Buckets of rain got dropped on the area.

That is our driveway and street.  The
street actually FLOODED

I was really worried that all my planning (ok really just a few text messages and phone calls) would we washed away along with the concert.  But with a quick call to the winery I was able to find out the concert was still on.  Insert happy dance here. 

Warning:  these pictures are blurry and may contain images that insect hating people should avoid.

Julie is a former cheese model and was demonstrating
she still has skills

One of the few fire pits on site.  There is a wooden
stage in the back ground. That is for
concerts on dry days

The view from the back deck

The band played on the big wrap around pourch

This would be Saude...the winery kitten

This would be Creek...the winery spider

And the band played on

There actually was no rain at the winery the entire night.  Just a breeze blowing, wine flowing and music in the air.  Twas a great night.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Love

What a wonderful weekend!  Stayed just busy enough that we didn't get cabin fever and had just enough relaxing time to feel rested.  Let the work week begin!

Enjoyed a night outside sipping wine...on our very own deck

We visited a winery Saturday night

I started and finished a craft

Even made a new recipe

In between all this we cleaned out closets, straighted the attic, cleaned the yard and have about a car full of stuff to donate to Goodwill.  The organizing bug hit Mark and then it started gnawing at me :-) 

Super glad to say Tommy got his cast off and will be back to running in no time.  And Saturday Christy turned 13!  Where does the time go?!?!?!  Hope everyone has a great week....happy trails!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sand and Shell ornaments

This year I needed to add a little something to my Beach themed seasonal tree.  I previously had sea shells on the tree and last year at Christmas time I picked up some blue/teal glass balls.  But I knew I needed just a little something else.  I found a few ideas online but after searching the isles of Michael's I came up with another idea. 

It took me two trips to Michael's because the first set of 6 turned out really nice and I wanted to add more. 

All you need: clear ornaments, sand of preferred color, small seashells, and ribbon.

Pour some of the sand into each ornament, fill with a hand full of shells, replace the top to the ornament and put a colorful ribbon through the top of the ornament.  The kids actually helped me with this craft.  Maybe something to do with playing in sand.

I used ribbon just to add some color to the tree but regular ornament hangers work well too. 

The final edition :)

Happy crafting :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Beach Seasonal Tree

We changed up the trees a couple weeks ago...tada!  The Beach Tree

I made these ornaments
this year for the tree...super easy!

Everyone needs a cocktail
drinking flamingo

Who doens't love a beach tree?  Well I will love it unless Emma decides to grab one of the ornaments with sand in it.  The tops are on pretty tight but I can see her making a mess with them.  So far she hasn't even bothered with them.  :)

It reminds me that we haven't been to the beach this year.  But the thought of our fearless 2 year old and an entire ocean of water combined scares the crap out of me.  Rather keep it to contained bodies of water.  Happy weekday peoples! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Camping at Natural Tunnel State Park

Oh to be back at the park...snacking of s'mores!  There is just so much to do at the park that my one post yesterday wouldn't do it justice.  In fact any posts don't do it's a place you just have to visit to get the full impact.  But alas I'll try to share some more of what we saw/did. 

Did I mention the park had a swimming pool?  Oh yes a great swimming pool with slides, a concession area and a huge bath house. 

And did I mention that to get down to the base of the tunnel you can walk a trail....or you can take the lift?
For $2 you can go one way...and for $3 you can go round trip.

If you don't have a camper and aren't into tent camping the park has cabins.  We didn't stay in the cabins here but did stay in cabins at James River State Park and at Smith Mountain Lake.  They are wonderful!  All the amenities of home except T.V. and telephone. 

The view from the cabins heading back to the camping sites

The park has a replica of a Block House.  This type of house was used by settlers as they travelled into the wilderness during a period when Indian attacks were common.  It was a neat place to visit and not even a mile from the camp site.

The park has creeks for canoeing, an amphitheater, picnic shelters, playgrounds, hiking trails and plenty of other stuff to keep you busy.  But in case none of that stuff sounds fun then you can create your own fun :)

It was a great time had by all...even the skunks that visited us NIGHTLY seemed to be smiling!  Haha.  Don't worry.  No one got sprayed.  Them being there just added to the adventure.  At least that is what I'm going to keep telling myself.  Hope the week is going smoothly for you.  Happy trails!