Vacation 2017

May 25th this family hit the road for yet another vacation adventure!  What is the ideal American Vacation for the family with an 11 and 12 year old?

SoCal Roadtrip

which looks a little like this:

IMG_2490

It was a fun one!

First Day we got going early.  We flew to San Diego and our first stop was the Midway.  We did a San Diego Vay Cay when the kids were babies, but they were on a vay cay to Grandma’s House, so everything was new to them.

 I don’t think they’re ready for the navy, but it’s a pretty cool stop if you’re headed that way.  After that we took the Hornblower Harbor Cruise and then drove around Coronado.

By then we were definitely ready for the hotel We called this the Shortbread mural, for the obvious reason…Image result for girl scout shortbread

We were right on the beach, so we had a lot of fun with that.  

The next day was Day 2 in San DiegoIMG_2263

We took the kids back to some more of our favorites

The Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Old Point Loma Lighthouse, This close-up view of the light room at the top of the Old Point Loma tower reveals the sturdy construction that helped it withstand winter storms. See more lighthouse pictures.which is also

BEAUTIFUL

and has awesome tidepoolsThe Tide Pools,

Cabrillo statue and more sweet hiking

Our last stop in San Diego was a highlight for our whole family.  We got to visit my BFF Missy’s house.  I met her in kindergarten and we graduated from high school together (along with a few other fun kids), but I love catching up with her and her awesome family.  

So, I do have a beef with California, which is that nobody will ever let you use their bathroom.  It made me crazy!  Notice the water bottle that I’m carrying in every photo.  I love to hydrate which eventually leads to bathrooms, I like to go to them!  Every CVS, deli, burger joint, etc…

Image result for no public restroom signif you’re lucky, there’s like a security code  for the doorknob that they might consider giving you.

It’s craziness!  Seriously, I’m not looking to move in!

The noted exception being Missy’s house.  Her daughter took me by the hand to show me where their bathroom was.  She walked me right in, actually opened the toilet lid and showed it off proudly, like a tiny Vanna White.  Image result for vanna white turning letters wheel of fortune It was a crack up.  I think that they’re learning to clean it themselves and feeling pretty pumped about it!

Well that’s the 1st third of the SoCal Roadtrip!  I’ll see if I can’t get the rest up soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nobody Here but us Chickens

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Honestly, the highlight of my Halloween probably falls around 8:30 or 9:00 pm.  You know, that special time when you wave the kids back from the door, frantically shushing as you crawl in stealth mode towards your curtains and pull them closed from your position laying on the floor underneath the windowsill as your husband runs through the house making sure that every light is turned off and there are no visible signs of life.

That’s what we call closing time:)

Then we roll right into today… November 1st, the day when breakfast is coffee and Kit Kats and it’s time for some good…ish housekeeping;)

Hi! May I Host You?!

It’s a great season for entertaining and getting together with friends and family, so don’t be intimidated, just start inviting people!

I happen to be an impeccable hostess and will share all my secret tips to help you knock this out of the park.

For starters, when you see someone in your driveway, start making this…

http://www.melskitchencafe.com/pumpkin-scones-with-ginger-glaze/

If it’s after 2, you could do something else, but honestly, scones work for me all the time and that recipe is a good one for fall through Christmas.

Okay, whoever comes in, give them your vacuum, so that they can suck up cat hair before the cat allergic girl shows up, then get back to frantically throwing the baking together and don’t forget to smile.

If smiling isn’t your natural, default face, just think about warm beaches, your favorite babies or when you found a Target gift card in your stocking, while getting out Christmas stuff.

While your vacuum buddy reprograms your Pandora stations, look for that butter slicing thing that you don’t use often.

If it’s in a box with the play-doh fun factory, just use the mixer on slow.

If the mixer is smoking and/or making sad noises, check for that cute hockey puck that keeps brown sugar from clumping.

If that guy isn’t stuck in your beaters, the problem might just be brown sugar rocks… possibly resulting from never replacing your puck, the last time that you accidentally beatered it.

Okay, if it’s brown sugar rocks, turn it up, Dude!  Yeah, like freedom rock!

Next, put the dough in your floppy cake pan.

By now, you may have to wrestle it back from a friends surprisingly strong baby.

Luckily you’ve been working out.

10 minutes is better than no minutes.

You can cut the scones out easily w/floppy pancake flipper.

You might end up with a few frankenscones, but just remember that the people coming are your friends, and as such, they can’t be all that  discerning.

Now, while your frankenscones are over baking, check on your friends.  By this time, your cat has located the allergic friend and formed a scarf

Shove the unused vacuum in the coat closet and start making coffee.

Don’t look in the mirror, you look great…   you’re doing it!  Good Job!

Good…ish House Keeping

Halloween has come and gone, but this house is looking spookier than ever.

If this is the boat you’re in, Welcome Aboard!
Now, put the plastic pumpkin down, whatever you’re looking for has probably already been inhaled by tiny sugared up pillagers.

So, Post-Weekend/Halloween Home Re-Set…

First, put something in your crock pot.
Whatever you can reach. This is because later, when you need food, cooking will not be possible.
You need a meat product, some liquid and some spices.
Whatever comes out, you can serve over rice later.

Now that that’s going, you plugged it in, right? It’s time to open up a lil’ can of Let’s-Make-This-Dump-Shine-Like-The-Top-of-the-Chrysler-Building!
I like to start with an extra cup of coffee…
you can stir in a Fun Size Milky Way, it’s more fun that way.

Find yourself a timer. How long do you have to throw at this? 20 minutes works for good-ish, 10 minutes is just ish.
Also, I think a sound track helps. I have been using Rusted Root’s Send Me On My Way for dishes, and upbeat Bob Dylan songs for laundry, but you can find what works for you.
You may need to get psyched up first with a classic, like Eye of the Tiger, (visualize your personal cleaning montage) or you could reword the lyrics to Lose Yourself, by Eminem

There are no M & M’s left! Stay with me!

Okay, During house reset, Do not get the phone, more likely than not it’s just Newt Gingrich anyway.
Let it go.

I think we’re ready now, awwyeah!

Grab a plastic Thank You bag. You can keep it on your wrist for unexpected candy wrappers and general refuse [ref-yoos], while you’re doing the run around, i.e. putting things where they go and restoring order to your home. This might take a few songs, so pump up the jam.

Then, get the dishes knocked out, hopefully one song.
Next, put dirty clothes in washer and sort clothes coming out of dryer into baskets dedicated to each member of your household.
Go get your vacuum and use it to pick up any rogue dust bunnies in your high traffic areas.dust_bunnies_02

Check your bathrooms for any unsightly yucky business and vacuum the dusty layer off the back of your toilet.
Finally, look at the awesome work you have done, and see that it is good.

If you’re working full time, are ill or have kids under five in the house with you, this plan can easily be modified;
when you see your husband’s car pull in, get out your vacuum.
Place it somewhere noticeable. This signals productivity, however imperceptible, and that calls for take out.