Thursday, August 29, 2013

Girl Power songs

Having a down day?  Need a pep talk?

These are some of my favorite pick-me-ups.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lake Powell in an RV

 We had a lot of miles to cover when we purchased our RV and had to get it from Arizona to Nebraska in time for school Monday morning.  So the bulk of the trip was just driving, but the kids loved to color and play cards at the table while in their seatbelts.

We did make one stop to check out scenery, and that was at Lake Powell.  Our friend had told us the best exit to take to drive the RV right onto the beach, and his advice didn't disappoint!

We were all thrilled to stretch our legs in that cool, dry desert air, and run across an orange sand beach.

My older son found this large heart-shaped rock.

Everyone took some time to get used to the clear, clean lake water and enjoy the beauty of the sun in the morning.  The only regret all of us had was that we couldn't stay a night or two.  The sand is packed down enough that one could camp right there and enjoy the water during the day...maybe even have a campfire at night.  It was a lovely vacation spot.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Getting our (used) Cruise America RV

The RV we found (watching their website) that was in our price range, and the size we wanted happened to be in Arizona.  We happen to live in the midwest.  Since Cruise pays $500 towards the flight to come get it and one-way tickets happened to be really cheap at the time, that covered the majority of our flight costs for ALL of us!  

Only my oldest has flown on an airplane, and she doesn't remember, so flying was a fun memory to create for all of them.  I especially loved the awe of a two year old realizing he was high above the buildings and cars.

We waited in their sales lounge for our RV to be ready and then we toured it and got instructions on using it.  There is really a learning curve when it comes to using the water, the toilets, the fridge, microwave/convection oven, and so on.  We still have never used all of the features (heat and oven for example), so I guess its time to get back on the open road!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Buying a Used RV

So we did something daring and adventurous...which sadly, isn't really like us.  But for some reason my husband, Casey and I decided it was time.  Time to enjoy our kids, to go places, to stop putting things off for "some day."

About a year ago we were looking to replace our very old van that I drive, and even got a credit union loan, but nothing fell into place, couldn't decide what to get and it just didn't happen.  Instead he did tons of repair work on our old van and we've just kept using it.

Casey happened to find an article about used RV's and then he found this really great idea.  Buying a high mileage former rental RV.  Why was this a good idea for us?  

  1. The small RV we picked is on a Ford F350 truck chassis so something my husband can work on if need be.
  2. Rental RV's are built really tough for heavy use, which sounds perfect for our family of young kids.
  3. Even though the mileage is high, Casey is more comfortable with that than a more expensive vehicle that has been stored or sat in the weather and aging for years with little use.
  4. This is the only way we could afford one :).  That helps make the decision easier.
  5. The people at Cruise America were very helpful through the whole process and even helped with the price of our flights to pick it up, which made getting it home a fun family adventure in itself.

The more we researched the better we felt that this would be a good option for our family.  And financially the prices were the same as a late model used car/minivan, so we went to the same loan place we'd been approved a year earlier.  They had the best interest rates on vehicles we could find (even though they are in another state than us) so I'm including a link to them as well.

While our house is still in progress, we're going to drop it all most weekends and just enjoy this newfound adventure on the road.  I have several more posts planned with RV tips and will take you with us to the fun places we find, by way of pictures.  If you have any questions or suggestions of great places to visit, feel free to comment or drop me a line by email!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Christmas Tree Skirts

So, I know it's only August, but since I'm getting my fall business back up and running I wanted to share with the world!  Christmas tree skirt sewing kept me busy last fall and I look forward to doing more of it this year.  If you like the "shabby frills" style, check out my shop!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) 1% cottage cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400

Coat a 13" x 9" baking dish and a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place the squash, cut side down, on the sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife. With a fork, scrape the squash strands into a large bowl.

Meanwhile, warm the oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and basil. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture is dry.

To the bowl with the squash, add the cottage cheese, mozzarella, parsley, salt, and the onion mixture. Stir to mix. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bread crumbs.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.

*From:  Squash, A Country Garden Cookbook*

FAT 5.4 G