Happy Camper

This past weekend we decided to plan a small weekend getaway.

We were looking for something close to home, but still something that made us feel like we had escaped reality for a little while.

Luckily the Uniontown KOA is pretty close and was the perfect fit for us.

IMG_0524

We rented a a cabin for the weekend that had a large bed in the main room and a bunk house off to the side with a sliding door that could be closed or kept open.

On Friday it unfortunately rained all night and we weren’t able to cook out. So we went out to eat and then stopped at a restaurant and then went to get groceries for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday morning it started of a little cloudy but turned into a beautiful day.

We started off the morning making pancakes on the fire pit, However, we just couldn’t get the logs to catch fire so we decided to move the griddle to to the grill to finish everything.

IMG_0562

They actually turned out really well after we got the hang of how long we had to cook them. Even Lily enjoyed her plain pancakes that were made before I added the blueberries.

One of Lily’s favorite things was the playground that was in the campground. She made several trips throughout our trip to the playground where she would spend so much time exploring everything and just enjoying the finally beautiful weather.

After paying a visit to the camp’s gift shop and purchasing a little disk of wax with wood shavings, the fire started right up.

Luckily we were able to make our dinner of veggie dogs with crescent rolls, foil pack veggies and grilled cheese for Lily right over the campfire. It was delicious and I am so happy we were able to do that.

Afterwards we made s’mores which Lily just enjoyed eating the graham crackers with chocolate.

IMG_0627

It was the end of a perfect day.

IMG_0618

The next day we woke up to a beautiful morning and ate breakfast before we left to join our mothers for a great Mother’s Day meal later in the day. 

Breakfast was made on the grill again that included oatmeal and cinnamon rolls.

We had a wonderful weekend and we can’t wait to do it again sometime soon.

How did you spend your Mother’s Day weekend? Leave your comments below.


“Daddy, Can I Stand Near the Crocodile?”

This past Saturday the weather was so depressing. It was raining, cold for May and just a horrible day.

Luckily, we had some fun activities planned for the day.

The first stop we made was to the huge Cabella’s store in Wheeling, W.V.

IMG_0417

When we walked in I didn’t realize that there would be a bunch of animal dioramas and an aquarium.

Lily loved looking at the aquarium the best. She thought that the fish were swimming over to say hi to her. She loved them so much she just had to have a stuffed rainbow trout.

We were also really into all the different animal displays and wanted our picture taken near the crocodile. She was really upset that she couldn’t get closer the crocodile.

Our main goal was to get some stuff for our upcoming camping trip. We grabbed a wire cook top and a griddle we could put over the fire and a few other odds and ends.

Lily also got a Mickey Mouse fishing pole that came with some foam fish and a foam fish hook that she has been using in the house, but can also use it to fish in her Nana and Papa’s pool this summer.

We are not hunters or fishers, in fact as I have mentioned before, we are both vegetarians. But, I can still appreciate all of the great camping options that Cabella’s has to offer and the fact that they are very serious about conservation.

After a long day I think we were rather tuckered out.

IMG_0446

Where is some place that you have never gone before but were happy that you tried it out? Leave your comments below.


Nature Calls

Every once in awhile you just have to get away. You need a break from the day-to-day grind of mundane tasks.

Since it has been awhile since we have had a mini-vacation we decided to go camping for a weekend.

If you have read my previous post reviewing Old Millstream Campground you will know that I am a little timid when it comes to the great outdoors.

So we decided to stick with familiar territory and rent a cabin for a few days at a local campground. This way we won’t spend a lot of time driving to our destination and will be able to be close to home as well.

Since we are going to be leaving in a few weeks I have been trying to accumulate ideas and lists for what we need and things we can do while we are at the cabin.

Being that we aren’t going to be that far away, I have imposed a one backpack per person rule. (Lily will get two one with stuff she needs and the other one for fun stuff.) But, this makes me think that I am going to forget something. Luckily, there is a Walmart and grocery store close by.

I came across this really great website/blog called Beyond the Tent and they have this really great simple camping check list.

Simple Camping checklist

Photo courtesy of Beyondthetent.com

Our cabin also comes with a fire ring and grill so we are trying to find some different recipes to follow  that utilize our cast iron skillet and a griddle.

I am thinking campfire griddle cakes for breakfast and some kind of veggie foil packet for dinner, but I am still open to trying some different things.

The thing about us is that both Kev and I are vegetarians (Lily isn’t) so we are looking for some recipes that are sans meat.

While I didn’t find a lot of interesting Youtube videos about specifically vegetarian camping (minus the one included below), but there were a few interesting vegan camping videos like the one below.

Do you have any tired and true camping recipes. Feel free to share them below in the comments.


Finding Fun in the Simple Things

Lily Smore 2

Having access to the Internet is both a blessing and a curse at the same time.

While you are able to find plenty of suggestions on how to make the perfect birthday party for your one year old, it can also hurt because you don’t think that you can ever measure up to what you see on the screen.

Being a parent is hard enough you don’t need this added pressure of unrealistic expectations to add to it.

It was a year ago that I read an article about how this mother wanted to have a “1970s Summer.”

This meant more time outside and allowing kids to just be kids.

Like letting children get all sticky sweet from sugar loaded Popsicles minus the organic and no sugar added variety.

Letting them stay up too late to go outside and catch lightening bugs and camp in the backyard.

We started to do this last year by enjoying smores by the fire pit and doing indoor camping and letting her eat too much ice cream.

We plan on doing this again this year.

So when I was on Pinterest, ironic, isn’t it, I found a lot of places that had lists of things to do over the summer with your children.

Here is a list that I really like from Natural Beach Living.

100-Summer

What ideas do you have for spending the summer with your little Mousekatots? Leave your comments below.


Smokey the Square

If there is something that a lot of people know about me is that I am not outdoorsy.

Actually, that might be putting it lightly. I hate bugs. I am terrified of snakes and I think bears are lurking around every corner just waiting to eat me like a tasty cake.

In actually, in my deep down, I know that these things are very least likely to be a threat to me, so I am trying my best to step out of my comfort zone again and try to go my version of camping.

We recently booked a stay for a weekend at a local campground next month. We booked a cabin with a bathroom because I am still not that adventurous when it comes to camping.

Indoor Camping

Our first attempt at indoor camping.

Last fall we had our first foray into camping when we stayed in a cabin at Old Mill Stream Campground in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

OldMillStream1

Located right next to an adorable family amusement park, Dutch Wonderland, Old Mill Stream is a smaller campground but is big on charm.

The cabins are really clean and spacious and were a perfect option for our very excited toddler.

There was a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and dining area with a futon and lots of space.

Outside each cabin had a grill, fire ring and picnic table.

My only complaint, which is really minor, was that there wasn’t a TV in the bedroom. For a person that needs to have the TV on to sleep it was a little of an inconvenience. We were able to hook up our tablets and stream Netflix overnight, so it ended up working out alright.

However, the scenery couldn’t be beat with a sweet little creek running behind the campground, to pie deliveries by the Amish, to receiving a discount at the neighboring amusement park.

In addition to the cabins there are RV hook ups, tent camping sites and you can even spend the night in a tepee.

OldMillStream2 I would highly recommend this campsite for those both experienced in camping as well novices.

The setting is peaceful and the coziness of the campground makes you remember the simple summer pleasures.

Do you and your family go camping? If so, what do you look for in a campground? Leave your comments below.


Bringing the Outside In

In our neck of the woods we were dumped (or blessed depending on how you look at it) with a bunch of snow. (I am not a big fan of the snow and I constantly threaten to move to Florida to avoid our harsh winters.)

Since we are stuck inside, we had the opportunity to use one of our new Christmas presents: an indoor smore maker.

Thanks to my Dad who picked it out for us, we received this really cute smore maker from the company nostalgia.

The maker is composed of a metal section that has a coil that heats when you plug it in. There is a protective grate over the coil that will prevent you from getting burned on the coil directly, but the top of the grate does get hot so you will want to watch your Mousekatots around the actual maker.

Surrounding the maker is a lazy Susan that has four compartments to hold your graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows.

The kit also comes with four marshmallow roasting forks, which I wish would have been a little longer, but they still work great.

15909787_809510868437_1769193591_n

Sorry about the grainy photos. The lighting wasn’t the greatest. You can see that we have this sitting on our large ottoman with a beach towel over it to prevent any spills. 

The smore maker really puts a nice crust on the marshmallow. However, if you are a fan of letting your marshmallow catch on fire and then blow it out, this won’t achieve that level of doneness. (That will only happen with an open flame which can be super dangerous in the house.)

15909841_809510863447_260982463_n

I also highly recommend that you buy the flat marshmallows that are made for smores. They fit nicely on the grahm cracker and smoosh really nice when they are toasted.

The end result is a nice and gooey smore.

15935744_809510873427_1837379025_n

Terribly blurry photo, but you get the idea.

I would highly recommend this smore maker. It is a lot of fun for the family it really makes a nice and cozy treat for everyone to enjoy.

Do you and your family have any cozy treats that you like to make or enjoy when it is cold outside? Leave your comments below.

All opinions in this review are mine. I was not compensated for them in any manner. 

 

 


Weekend Getaway: See What’s Jammin’

Last weekend we had the chance to go away on a much needed long weekend to one of our favorite getaway locations: Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Since I have been little we have been making an annual, sometimes semi-annual, pilgrimage to the land of the Amish and shoofly pie.

One of our go-to locations has been Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, Pennsylvania.

 

14141923_787108003957_6078912334629605409_n

We love Yummie. Lily was a little unsure of him.

Situated along about two blocks, Kitchen Kettle is an adorable village that features a variety of shops carrying everything from Brighton jewelry, specialty meats and cheeses, cowboy boots, kitchen gadgets and more.

Our favorite place in the village is called The Jam & Relish Kitchen.

 

dsc_2226

Get to jammin’.

There is no way to be confused as to what is sold in this store. The name says it all.

Anything that can be jammed, picked, marinated and jarred could be found inside of this delicious business.

 

14340011_10111611869916494_1840416262_o

Jars as far as the eye can see.

One of the best perks of the store is that you can taste it before you buy it. Free samples of everything from salsa to pickles to the Pennsylvania Dutch delicacy, Chow Chow can be spread on a provided cracker, tortilla chip or poked with a toothpick.

 

14374528_10111611869886554_693529596_o

Hot pepper jelly is my absolute favorite. I made sure that I stocked up!

Prices are reasonable and you can get a variety of sizes in everything from a “I just want a little taste” size to “I gotta have it by the truckload” size.

 

14339219_10111611869906514_1251499989_o

Even Lily enjoyed sharing with Daddy!

If you have the opportunity to visit Kitchen Kettle I highly recommend stopping by. If you can’t make it out, you can also shop online.

What would you be tempted to try at the Jam & Relish Kitchen? Leave your comments below.

dsc_2230