Pancho Villa

Do you ever have those open mouth insert foot moments? Gosh, I do… ALL. THE. TIME. It’s quite sad really.

So the most recent happened at a Mexican restaurant in town. They probably think I’m quite interesting anyway… so whatever. I’ll just go with it.

One of the guys that works there has some MAJOR artistic talent. I seriously should take pics of some of his work because WOW! He just happened to be our server that night. So my little looked at the wall next to us and pointed at a framed picture on the wall and asked if it was a real person. I laughed and said, Of course, it is, but who, I don’t know. (more…)

Baking Basics: My Must-Have, On-Hand Ingredients

Welcome back to another Baking Basics installment! Today, let’s talk about how I stalk my pantry for Baking with a little Cooking mixed in.

Most people keep the basics on hand… flour, sugar, eggs, butter. You can make a lot of things with those four ingredients. But, I keep a large array of ingredients on hand. I have some favorites too. I live fairly close to town, but especially this day in age, I try to avoid Walmart at all costs, and where I live, that IS our grocery store. I wish more grocery stores would move into the area… please read this and follow suit!! Once I start to get low on something, I put it on my grocery list so I can re-stock it before I’m completely out.

Below is everything I keep in my pantry on a regular basis, along with brand recommendations and links, where applicable. Is there anything you would add to the list?!

FLOURS

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Bread Flour
  • Cake Flour
  • Almond Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Whole Wheat Flour

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The Fall Quilt

When we went to Alaska, we went to the cutest quilt shop. Our plans were to make the girls quilts to help commemorate our trip. Well, we bought material for the quilts there that you could only get there… with the plans of getting more “filler” material once we got home. Less to try and pack to get back home. 

Once my grandma and I got the quilt tops done, it was time to find backing. I went online searching for extra wide backing. I found what I wanted for the older’s quilt in Rogers, AR. So since we were already going camping the weekend that I found it, it was a hop, skip, and a jump away to go material shopping. 

In the process, I found this quilt panel.

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A Wedding Cake

Making a wedding cake is STRESSFUL! Anyway, it is stressful in my opinion. If it stressed everyone out, we wouldn’t have wedding cakes. haha. Most everyone I talk to agrees (with each other) that the reason I get stressed out with a wedding cake is I’m too much of a perfectionist. 

Up until here recently, I had only ever made 1 wedding cake that was for an actual wedding. The second wedding cake (or technically first) was for the cake decorating classes I took back in 2007 or 2008. That one didn’t stress me out other than I had to figure out how to do them for the class. Otherwise, easy peasy, lemon squeezy. 

That’s why back in roughly that same year I agreed to do a wedding cake. I can’t find pictures of it right now, but it was a disaster. I cried and cried. I cried to the point I swore I’d never make another wedding cake… until 2020. I guess the year 2020 is a year of many weirdnesses. (more…)

1 Sugar Cookies

The third set of sugar cookies I’ve made this year. They were so easy and so much fun. 

I love the bright colors. They initially wanted a llama, but I didn’t have a llama cookie cutter and I didn’t have time to figure out how to do a llama. So since it was a first birthday, we went with the colors of the party and a 1 as well as MJ is one. 

These colors were soooo pretty in my opinion. So happy I got to do them. (more…)

“Fifty” Cookies

It’s been a few minutes since I’ve made sugar cookies. But… it’s kind of like riding a bike, right? haha.

Okay, the back story of the Fifty Cookies… So a gal who has ordered cookies from me every year hit me up to see if I still did cookies. Yes. Would I do Fiftieth Wedding anniversary cookies? Yes. Then I got the story behind these cookies. It’s a good one!!

She works in healthcare. Dialysis to be exact. One of her patients has been fighting cancer for a few years. He decided that he wanted to fight until at least his 50th wedding anniversary. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 10th. How sweet is that?!?! (more…)

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Guys, have I got the place to tell you about… The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center! This place rocked!

So, as we’ve learned, my little loves zoos. I had higher hopes for the Alaska Zoo.

On Tuesday when we spent most of what felt like all day laying around the hotel room, I somehow found the Alaska Channel. I’m not sure if that is a hotel thing or if that is actually a thing. Either way, they were talking about different places around Alaska, including the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

It is about an hour’s drive from Anchorage to Girdwood where the center is located. You have gorgeous views and let me say this so even those in the back row can hear… IT. WAS. TOTALLY. WORTH. IT. (more…)

Caribou Grill – Glennallen, Alaska

Our first full day in Alaska we went out driving through the mountains. I made mention that I wanted to go into the mountains and we entered this trip with very little plans. Especially since the Coronavirus has been affecting all daily life everywhere. But I wanted to see beautiful scenery and I wanted to go into the mountains. So, our first day, we did just that.

p.s. I love that at home we have deer crossing signs. Here they have Moose and Elk crossing signs. However, we didn’t see any moose (or elk) in the wild until the last day. more on that to come.

Supposedly you can drive to this glacier. The roads didn’t look right or looked like we were going to have to offroad. Have you ever tried offroading in a minivan? Me either. Not sure I want to either.

This was the Matanuska Glacier. The Matanuska is Alaska’s largest road-accessible glacier, and it’s just 90 minutes from Anchorage. It is 27 miles long and 4 miles wide. It is located 100 miles North-east of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. It flows about 1 foot per day. (more…)

Patchwork Moose – Talkeetna, Alaska

We ate breakfast at a restaurant called Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant in Anchorage the day before. Our waitress was so awesome. She asked if we were out of town or locals. When we told her we were on vacation, she asked where all we had been and where we were headed next. Then she suggested heading north to Talkeetna, Alaska. 

The next day we grabbed breakfast as we headed out of town headed north to Talkeetna. The waitress had given us a few different Alaska books to look at and mom and my husband did some research before we headed there. One of the things mom saw was a quilt store located in Talkeetna called The Patchwork Moose. Now, my grandma’s birthday is the same day as mine which also happened to be the week we were on vacation. Very few years have I missed celebrating with Grandma. So we decided to go to the quilt shop to bring grandma back some fabric from Alaska.

The Patchwork Moose

22262 Talkeetna Spur Rd
Talkeetna, Alaska

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Going on Vacation: Alaska – July 2020

Let this be known… I’m not here to debate if going on vacation was the right thing to do or not. I was stressed out in the weeks prior to leaving. Stressed beyond belief. I had a few meltdowns. I might be 2. Anyway… the point is… we went on vacation, we had a great time… And here’s what lead us to head to Alaska. We’ll call it the “backstory.”

The initial plans

Alaska wasn’t our first destination.

When my little was about a year old, we were planning a summer vacation. My mom kept mentioning that we should go to Disney World or Disneyland because the little loved Disney so much. I kept saying, let’s hold off until she’s at least 5 or 6. If we’re going to spend that amount of money, I want her to remember it.

Jump forward to last fall.

My husband and I were looking for a vacation for the 2 of us. I don’t know why I think we were just killing time one evening. That’s when he spotted that we could go on vacation to Disney fairly cheaply. Then the debate was on World vs Land. Eventually, we fell upon land because we’d never been to California. Okay, well he had for work, but does that really count?

We talked to my parents and his mom about going to see if they’d be interested. Yup. Got the older daughter on board… and plans started moving forward. (more…)