Fall Break, Part 1

Yesterday morning, abortion Anthony, side effects Maya, rx Quinn and I set off on a family vacation. You can tell that Anthony was SUPER excited about 11 hours in the car with two three noisy girls. IMG_1519We drove through five states on the way to the beach: Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and finally Florida. We saw several groups of people lining the roadways with Confederate flags in Mississippi. We dined lavishly on fine cuisine at Huddle House and Bojangles along the way. The kids were great. Anthony and I talked about lots things from women in church leadership to supper club to country music with a R&B groove to staying hip with the kids. It was awesome. I really LOVE talking with my husband. He is smart and funny and helps me see things in a new light.

We arrived at our condo around 9:30 p.m., unpacked and tried to tame the excited children. Quinn just wasn’t having it. After all day buckled in a car seat facing BACKWARDS, she wanted to play! All Maya could talk about was going to the beach. But finally, everyone was asleep.

This morning, Quinn woke at 5:30 a.m. She obviously didn’t get the memo about sleeping in on vacation. Maya woke early too. It was lightly raining outside. I made a pot of coffee, steamed some milk with pumpkin pie spice sprinkled in. Rain or not, I was relaxed and thankful for a week of rest — even if I didn’t get to sleep in.

After getting everyone up, clean and dressed, we drove to Grayton Beach for breakfast at Another Broken Egg Cafe. I had The Floridian, a cream cheese filled omelette topped with garlic sautéed crabmeat, Monterey Jack & green onions. Oh my word. So good. IMG_1523After breakfast, the sky cleared just enough to venture down to the beach. We loaded up the wagon and walked the short distance to the Gulf. IMG_1526IMG_1529IMG_1541IMG_1546 IMG_1549Later we went back to the condo for lunch and naps. So far, this trip is perfect. Rain and all.


0 sugar 0 calories 0 diet sweeteners

Family beach photos are in!

photo 1Last week, click my stepdaughter K turned 14. She was in New Orleans with the youth from our church on a mission trip, capsule so we didn’t get to celebrate until yesterday. Her sisters and I decided to make her cupcakes instead of a regular birthday cake. (I found cupcakes help my crew — myself included — with portion control.) K is a plain vanilla cake kind of gal, healthful so chocolate was out. I decided up to kick it up a notch and make these Food Network Cuatro Leches Cupcakes. They were so yummy — and not too sweet.

photo 5

I use a squeeze bottle (like the mustard one above) for adding fillings to cupcakes. It also worked for soaking these cupcakes with four milk (condensed, evaporated, whipping cream, and coconut milks) mixture.

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The finished product!

Whitney Loibner is a great photographer! She did our family photo shoot last month when we were in Fort Morgan, viagra 60mg
AL, on vacation. Here are a few of my faves:






Beach vacation — Day 2

everyone in bedThis day has been so relaxing! I woke up with the sun (can’t help it) and enjoyed a cup of coffee on the upper deck with Anthony, ailment then we climbed back in bed to watch “Breaking Bad” and “Weeds” on Netflix. After the kids woke, nurse they came upstairs to join us in bed. Of course!

After breakfast, the kids were itching to get to the beach. The skies were a bit sketchy, but we ventured out anyway. I mean — why not? We’re at the beach, right? We were out there about an hour or so. 2013-07-07 10.00.24We could see the storm out a sea getting closer and closer. Our friend Daniel said, “We have about five more minutes,” then boom, it snuck up on us fast and hard. SKYFALL. (cue Adele) We grab all our stuff and take off running toward the house. It was quite humorous.

Then around 1, the sun returned. YEAH! We quickly changed into our swimsuits again and headed back down to the beach. The whole gang was out there. (There are about 8 other families from our church here too in neighboring houses.) It was so fun just hanging out with friends laughing and telling stories — and all the kids either boogie boarding or building sand castles… or making sand mermaids.

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Beach vacation — Day 1

2013-07-06 08.19.06 My family is on a week-long vacation with my brother and his family. Last night we spent the night in Hattiesburg, price MS, neuropathologist on our way to Fort Morgan, AL. Our hotel was scary (we got bumped from our original hotel, so they put us up free of charge at another one nearby), so I was anxious to get out of there this morning. I found this little French place called C’Est La Vie Bakery and Coffee on UrbanSpoon, and it did not disappoint. The almond croissant was amazing! 2013-07-06 08.26.47

Then we drove the rest of the way to Fort Morgan via Dauphin Island ferry. There was a line of cars waiting for the ferry, but visiting with other travelers was part of the fun. There were several other families from Arkansas. We ate ice cream. Even with the wait, it was a lot of fun. All part of the adventure.

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Now it’s about 8-something p.m., and we’re all relaxing in the beach house after dinner. My sister-in-law Ines and I are taking turns making dinner this week. I was on for tonight. I prepared three freezer crock-pot meals in advance, and tonight was taco soup night. It was so easy –dump, turn it on, and head to the beach for a few hours. I also make a pot of rice and a salad to go with it.

Black Bean Taco Soup
1 lb lean ground beef (or ground turkey works too!)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 package mild taco seasoning mix
1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn
1 (16 oz) can black beans drained and rinsed (you could use kidney beans or pinto beans)
2 (14 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilis
Brown meat and onion, drain. Let meat cool for a minute, then dump into a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag.
Dump the remaining ingredients into the bag, mix together, and zip bag closed.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on HIGH for 1-2 hours or LOW for 2-3 1/2 hours.
Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole.