My Favorite Purchase Ever (At Least So Far)

Last summer, I purchased my ALL-TIME FAVORITE antique ever!! My eldest daughter went wandering around on her own and stumbled upon a 5 year diary. This was a rare find because each day (literally) for almost five full years was filled in. The diary belonged to a Texas teenager. She was sassy and funny. She wrote about days of playing cards with her mother and sister. She also wrote about days in church with the guys from Texas A&M (according to her: they weren’t much to talk about). She also chronicled her love for one boy in particular. We sat around the kitchen table after we brought it home and read all the way through the many entries. There were many laughs and even a couple of tears. After we finished reading, I googled her and her family. She sadly had passed away a couple of decades before. Her family is still in Texas. I wonder how in the world her diary made its way all the way to our home state. I wonder if her family knew about the diary she wrote back in her teen years.  I struggle with the idea that I should contact them and let them know of its existence. I treasure it so very much! It’s a reminder of simpler times. It’s also a reminder that feelings never really change. We all feel happiness, sadness, joy, worry, hope, fear, love, and jealousy. It’s those things that I hold close to my heart when I revisit the pages of the daily writings of a Texan teenager in the 50s.

Pirate Party and a recipe

Since we always have so many games and trivia during our parties, we always have a prize box of some sort. This time I got a styrofoam cooler for about $2.50 at Target. We spray painted it black and it served as the cutest treasure chest!

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I used pineapples to decorate around the house as well. Most of the decorations were from Target and Oriental Trading.

We played a throw a ring around the hook. It was a fun little game, but I actually think the adults enjoyed it more. We bought the hooks from Oriental Trading and hot glued them on to a piece of cardboard box. The rings were glow necklaces from Dollar Tree.

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As our guests arrived, they were asked to get a pirate name. I had two cups with silly names. One cup was the first name and the second was the last. They then had to wear a name tag with their pirate names on it.  It was fun to see the funny  combinations.

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We played a cannonball game that was the hit of the party. I had my parents bring all their newspapers that they’d normally recycle. The teams were to make balls out of it and throw them to the other side. After 5 minutes we counted who had the most and that team won. Both teams cheated by not making them into balls but it was so fun no one really got too upset about it.

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I made a new dish for the vegetarians. It was a black-eyed pea dip. I made it very spicy, but it was so delicious!

Black-eyed Pea Dip:

one can drained black-eyed peas

1 small can diced jalapeños

1/2 cup salsa

1/4 cup sour cream

2 Tbl. Hot sauce

1 cup hot pepper cheese

1 to 2 cups cheddar cheese (for topping)

Put ingredients in a blender and blend until just incorporated. You don’t want it too smooth. Pour into a greased baking dish. Put reserved cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.  I served it with chips, but ate it plain. It was very spicy but so good! We named it Blackbeard’s dip for the party.

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Overall, this was one fun party!

Pirate Party

We had so much fun at our little guy’s birthday party.

IMG_0724One of the games had four teams with two buckets and sponges. The bucket at the top was full of water and the goal was to fill the bucket at the bottom with water first using only a sponge.

IMG_0513IMG_0519IMG_0706The photo booth was a fun way to capture the people at our party. I got the whole set from Oriental Trading.

IMG_0585IMG_0586The party was divided into two teams. They each had to design and create a team flag using Sharpies, pillowcases, and their imaginations.

I loved being able to bring out my Halloween stuff to use as decorations!!

The menu was:

fish and chips : Goldfish crackers and chips

Blackbeard’s bean dip : Spicy black-eyed pea dip

Don’t whistle–hummus : hummus

Boats : hot dogs

Peg legs : pretzel rods

Gold bars : cheese cubes

Fresh Catch : tuna salad

Polly’s crackers : crackers

Tastes like chicken : chicken salad

Gemstones : strawberries, blueberries, and grapes

Devil’s Caviar: spicy deviled eggs

Treasure Map: pizza

Crocodile punch : pineapple-lime punch

I hope to share more about our pirate party soon.

Vanilla Cake {keto}

Originally posted on livingandlovinglowcarb

One of the things that can make a person who is living low carb feel sad is not being able to enjoy dessert, especially on special holidays like Memorial Day. I wanted to make a cake that I could throw some berries and whipped cream on top and feel like I was enjoying a decadent treat. I can hardly wait to share this super easy recipe with you!

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Low Carb Vanilla Cake

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup softened butter

1/2 cup softened coconut butter

1 1/2 cup Splenda

1 cup sugar-free vanilla Torani syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. meringue powder

1 tsp. cream of tartar

2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir together all the ingredients. Pour into a greased cake pan. Cook until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool. Remove from pan and enjoy so many different ways!

 

Scotch Eggs {keto}

This was originally published on my other  website, livingandlovinglowcarb, which is wholly dedicated to the low carb  lifestyle.

On our last trip to Disney World, we tried Scotch Eggs for the first time. They were very good and I knew I would have to try to make a keto version when we got home. Last weekend, I had everything I needed. It was way less intimidating than I expected. Everyone absolutely loved them, and have already requested that I make them again! In my personal opinion, they’re better than the original.

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Keto Scotch Eggs:

Boiled eggs

sausage

oil

parmesan cheese

2 eggs, beaten

First, boil your eggs to your personal preference. ( I personally cannot eat them even a tiny bit runny). Beat 2 eggs in a separate bowl. Begin heating the oil. Roll sausage around the boiled eggs. Dip into the beaten eggs. Drop into a Ziploc bag with about 2 cups of Parmesan cheese. Shake gently, making sure the egg and sausage is completely covered. Drop into the hot oil. Turn as it browns. Completely cook. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. These can be served hot or cool. My family liked them hot,

I hope you like these as much as my family did!

Foreign Language {need advice}

Our state requires three foreign language credits in the same language. My daughter has to begin learning another language this year. I took four years of Spanish in high school and tested out of it in college. I almost never use it, and my daughter wants to learn French or Latin, so I am at a complete loss. I need some advice on excellent programs for her to become proficient in one of these languages. I’m open to any and all advice. Thank you in advance!!

Pirate Party Treasure Hunt Selfie Style

Now that nearly everyone I know from the ages of 10 and up has a smartphone, the treasure hunt at our last party was a selfie variety. There were ten things that people needed to find and take their selfies with. My parents are the only people I know who still have flip phones. My dad partnered with my mother-in-law. Their pictures are my favorite because my dad doesn’t really know about selfies. It was such a fun little game and everyone really enjoyed the hunt. The first three teams that finished received a treat out of the treasure box.

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Pirate Party Goody Bags

My little boy loves everything that involves pirates, dragons, and sharks. We incorporated his love for these things into his fourth birthday party.

I try to make the goody bags go along seamlessly with the theme. One of my rules is that the goodies be ones that are fun and enjoyable. No one likes getting a goody bag filled with things that are useless and will go directly into the trash can.

IMG_0470.JPGIn this goody bag I tried to put only things that went with a pirate and water theme. I put pirate sword bubbles ( Oriental Trading), Lifesavers candies, Hershey’s Treasures, Swedish Fish, Ring Pops, Goldfish crackers, Pirate’s Booty popcorn, pirate pencils, and pirate beach balls (Oriental Trading). We had regular lunch bags that I let the birthday boy and one of his sisters decorate with stickers from Dollar Tree.

Goody bags are a way to extend the fun to each child’s home after the party is over.

Travel Fun Bags

Along with scavenger hunts, I like to pack little bags of treats and games for the trip. I like to get snacks and candy that I don’t normally buy. I always pack a coloring book and colored pencils in each bag. I try to buy a book for reading on the beach too.  This trip, I bought books of questions to go through with everyone. (My husband and I actually went through some of the questions from the original book on our first outing before we started dating). My super creative daughter used our Cricut to put names or monograms on sand coasters to use on the beach. My goal with every trip is to get closer as a family, get away from work, and have a good time. These little bags are hopefully one of the little joys that I can pass along to my family. IMG_0723IMG_0725IMG_0727

Road trip Scavenger Hunt

Every road trip we embark upon I like to include a scavenger hunt for the ride. I make up treat bags and one of these hunts is always inside. It’s always fun to see what each car had a hard time finding and what they completed right away. We are headed to the Gulf coast and look forward to surf, sand, games, and memory-making galore.

Just copy, paste, and print.

Road Trip Scavenger hunt

1. Cow
2. Cotton growing
3. Liquor store sign
4. Corn growing
5. Montana license plate
6. 30A bumper sticker
7. Passenger sleeping (not in your car)
8. A car with a canoe or kayak on top
9. A little white church
10. A car with a dog in it
11. A car with a Disney something on it
12. Palm tree
13. Baby on board sign
14. A historical marker
15. Roadkill
16. Bike on a car
17. School
18. Sign for chick fil a
19. River
20. A hotline sign
21. Sign about hell
22. Museum
23. College or university
24. Something that says roll tide
25. A farmer working
26. A cross on the roadside
27. Car with an advertisement on it
28. Hospital
29. A passenger who looks like they’re singing
30. Firework sign or store
31. American flag
32. Proud parent sticker
33. Boiled peanut sign
34. Bus of any kind
35. Sign about space and rocket center
36. Hampton Inn
37. Truck with cars on it
38. Cracker Barrel
39. Playground
40. RV pulling a car or boat

 

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