Dauphin Island

We had already planned our annual Hilton Head trip and a trip to Disney World for 2017 when we decided that we needed to have one trip that included our eldest daughter. We didn’t want to spend a bunch of money and we had a very specific timeframe. I read that Dauphin Island, Alabama was voted one of the “must visit” islands by Southern Living. We looked at VRBO for a few days and then decided upon a newly constructed home right on the Gulf. The home was called “The Sea Turtle” and we loved it.


A few things make this island very unique. There are no major stores on the island. There is a small grocery store that is more than sufficient for almost everything you need. Wal-Mart is over the bridge and is quite far. One big trip to stock up on major supplies should be enough. There are very few restaurants on the island as well. We ate all but one meal at home. The kitchen in the house was very well equipped and provided everything we needed to make meals at home.


We rented a jet ski one day and had a wonderful time riding around the island. Some of the family enjoyed fishing. We all had a great time playing in the sand.


Everyone we met while we were there was so nice! Our neighbors even brought us extra fish they caught. This was yet another special thing about the island.

By far, the neatest thing that happened was that a sea turtle laid her eggs under the house.  The volunteers with Share the Beach Dauphin Island came to the house and were amazing! The mama turtle had gotten confused due to the lights under the house being on. (On a side note: we thought we had turned them all off, but someone must have flipped a switch upstairs and accidentally turned them on again.) She was found in the ditch in front of the house. A huge group of people moved her, and she was put back into the water. Her eggs hatched on September 3. If you visit the Share the Beach: Dauphin Island Facebook page you can get a glimpse of her babies. We can all say that this was such an exciting thing to witness.


This vacation was one of the most relaxing ones we had in a long time.


Merry Christmas

I hope that you and yours are having a wonderful Christmas. We hosted Christmas Eve dinner last night after our Christmas Eve church service. Today, we went to both sides of our families. We’ve been so busy but I’m hoping that in the next few days we have some time to reflect and get ready for the new year. Merry Christmas to you!!

Making Christmas Easier

I am one of those crazy people who loves to wrap gifts. I like everything about it: the tape, scissors, paper, folding, etc. I know I’m a little strange.

One reason people don’t like wrapping is because it can get overwhelming. I asked around and found that most people wrap all at one time. I do not. I wrap as I buy. I also pick one paper design for each family. My husband’s side and my side have completely different wrapping papers. Our family of seven has several different papers but all in a specific color scheme which changes year to year.


These little things help me easily see which present goes to which house and which ones stay right here. I also keep them in two different sections. As I wrap as it comes in, this makes it easier to tell where it goes.

I’d love to hear any other tricks or tips how you make this season a little easier!


Pirates and Pals Voyage {Disney World}

IMG_2491IMG_2962IMG_2966We wanted to try something new on our last trip to Disney World. David just loves all things pirate, so we thought the Pirates and Pals Voyage would be a great thing to try. We were not disappointed.

It started out with an optional scavenger hunt with a prize out of the treasure chest for those who completed it. Then we moved into a room where we got to meet and get pictures with Captain Hook and Smee.

The room was loaded with desserts. We were able to eat them there and take them on the boat as well. Everything was yummy and was certainly like party food.

Later, we were separated into two groups and then we boarded the boats. Our guides were pirates as well. We sang songs and played trivia. We were then able to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the lake. We also were able to catch part of the Electric Parade on the water. When we returned to the hotel, a very special guest was waiting for us. Peter Pan was there to see how we liked our trip and to take pictures. David had the best time. The rest of us did too. I would highly recommend this excursion to anyone but especially those with little ones who love pirates.

Cheese Dip {Recipe}

Punctuality is a trait that many people lack, especially in my family. I have major issues with time. It drives me to near insanity to be late and almost equally crazy when people are more than just fashionably late. One thing that exacerbates the situation is hunger. For Thanksgiving this year, I decided to try to alleviate at least part of the irritation by making a cheese dip for those who were on time and were hanging around for everyone else show up. Everyone in my family loves cheese and almost everyone likes a dip of some kind. This was easy to throw together. My family has already requested it again.

Cheese Dip (Keto, Low Carb)

1 block of cream cheese (I used the jalapeno kind)

1 small can of diced jalapenos (juice and all)

2 small blocks of hot pepper cheese (shredded)

1 small block of cheddar cheese (shredded)

Mix all the ingredients together. Put into a baking dish and sprinkle about 1 cup of shredded cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and hot in the center (it took about 20-25 minutes).

I served this with Stacy’s Jalapeno Pita Chips. It can be eaten with veggies and any meat as well to keep it low carb or keto.