Easy Vacation Meal Plan

I’m leaving for my favorite place on Friday!  Lake Winnepesaukee. I’m already there in my head.  I’m day dreaming about what we’ll do, where we’ll go, what we’ll eat and, notably, what we WON’T do. As in, think about work, worry about schedules, be in a rush.  You get the picture.

I am kind of obsessing about what we will eat. I love to go out to eat, but I don’t want to do it all the time on vacation. For me, cooking on the grill and having special treats is part of the fun of vacation.  I have a rough plan of what to bring and what to make ahead of time.

Breakfast

Lunches

  • Roll Up Sandwiches
  • Pizza on the Grill, like this one from Uno’s. It’s not frozen and it cooks in 10 minutes. We can add some fun toppings, too.

UNO Cheese Pizza 2pk

 

  • Burgers and dogs!

Snacks

18 Easy Slow Cooker Snacks That Will Feed A Crowd. I'm so excited about the fudge and the buffalo meat balls!

  • Veggies and dip
  • Chips and Peach salsa
  • Nuts
  • Crackers and cheese

Dinners

Corn & Cucumber Picnic Salad. A very simple yet great tasting salad

Desserts

Gluten Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Stacked

Knock Out Your Sweet Tooth Gluten Free Dessert

 

I seriously cannot wait.

Easy Vacation Meal Plann

 

 

Don’t Miss this Sale – Anthropologie

Guys, it’s the 50% off Tag Sale at Anthropologie.  Here are the things I will seriously, seriously consider buying, but then delete from my cart because I will still feel guilty cause even at 50% off it’s still a little pricey, but I bet they would be so worth every penny!

Geoda Wrap Skirt #anthropologie

Geoda Wrap Skirt – $79.95

Striped Weekend Tee #anthropologie

Striped Weekend Tee – $49.95

Avie Tunic #anthropologie

Avie Tunic – $49.95

Seafolly Field Trip Maillot #anthropologie

Seafolly Field Trip Maillot – $79.95

Level 99 Linen Wide-Legs  #anthropologie

Level 99 Linen Wide Leg Pants – $49.95

Peaseblossom Earrings #anthropologie

Peaseblossom Earrings – $29.95

Indigo Filigree Headband #anthropologie

Indigo Filigree Headband – $19.95

Gluten Free Cookie Mix from Among Friends

I have an on again off again relationship with gluten.  I should stay off of it, but I just love the bread and the cookies and the cake so much that I always end up back on it.  That’s why I was so excited when I stumbled upon gluten free cookie mix from Among Friends in a catalog from a school fundraiser.  I bought the Phil ‘Em Up Chocolate Cranberry cookie mix.

Gluten Free Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies were delicious!  They are sort of like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with cranberries added into the mix.  It’s a really great flavor combo. And I don’t know how the good people at Among Friends figured it out, but I couldn’t tell these were gluten free.

What makes me almost as happy as how delicious these are is how easy they are to make.  Other than the mix, all you need is vanilla, an egg and some butter.  Mix it together and pop ‘em in the oven and you are about 9 minutes away from guilt free cookie heaven.

Among Friends Gluten Free Bake Mix

And the third best thing about these cookies?  They are made by two moms.  Two moms who wanted to make healthy and delicious sweets.  I say, Mission Accomplished!  Head over to the Among Friends website and check out their inspiring story and all of their baking mixes!

DIY Watercolor Sharpie Pillow

DIY Sharpie Watercolor Pillow

Please bear with me and my bird obsession.  I had so much fun playing with Sharpies and alcohol.  Rubbing alcohol that is.  Funny aside, I went out for a drink with another mom the other night.  Between the two of us we spent $23.50.

I feel like by the time I had figured out the best ways to do watercolor with Sharpies and rubbing alcohol, I had run out of pillow space to play on.  Truth be told, this pillow isn’t my favorite thing ever, but it was very fun to make.

Here’s what you need:

Sharpie Watecolor Materials

Sharpies

Rubbing Alcohol

Qtips

Makeup Sponges (the triangle ones)

Plain white pillow (like what you would use as an insert)

Step 1:  Practice.  I used a papery, plastic backed table cloth to practice on.

Step 2:  Choose your favorite method of applying the Sharpie color to your practice surface.  First I tried drawing a design (a bird) onto the practice surface and then dabbing it with an alcohol soaked Qtip.  You will notice as you practice that when you dab the alcohol onto the material, the color spreads. Keep that in mind as you are dabbing.  You don’t want to dab right up to the edge of your design if you don’t want a lot of bleeding past your outline.

Bird Collage

When you are done with the general shape of the birdie (or whatever you choose to draw!), you can add some detail with your black Sharpie.

Birdie Closeup

The second method I tried for applying the sharpie color to the pillow was different and a lot more fun.  I used the makeup sponges.  I dabbed the flat rectangle end of the sponge with the sharpie, then I dipped that into the rubbing alcohol.  That’s how I got the overall watercolor effect on the entire pillow. Once the sponge was saturated with color and alcohol, I dapped and swiped it onto the pillow. This took a lot of Sharpie color and a lot alcohol, fyi.

DSC_0794

If I were to do this whole project again, and I might!, I would have used this method to draw the birdies and then outlined the details with the black.  I think I would have preferred the look of that.  Maybe I’ll do an update!

Step 3:  Take the plunge and start painting on the pillow!  Map out approximately where you want your designs to go and just jump in.  Don’t forget that as you dab with the alcohol that your color will start to bleed outward, so if you don’t want a lot bleeding over your outline, dab towards the middle of your design.Bird Pillow with Sharpie and Rubbing Alcohol

You *could* stop there and not do the whole watercolor all over effect.  But if you are like me and you just don’t know when to say when, start dabbing the pillow using the makeup sponge method!  I will say that the all over watercolor effect did hide some of my little mistakes with over-bleeding.

Step 4:  Pop your pillow in the dryer to set the color.

That’s it!  I would so much love to see what someone else comes up with for this!  If you try this, please send me a pic of your finished DIY Watercolor Sharpie Pillow!

 

 

 

 

 

Pin Trusted or Pin Busted – Does Febreze Kill Ants?

Once upon a time I made a tiny aside, like a parenthesis within a sentence within a paragraph within a post, about how I tested a Pin I found that said that Febreze kills ants.  Ever since then, almost daily, people do a search for “does febreze kill ants” and they end up on that post.  In the post, I said it didn’t work.  But, I used the aerosol air freshener Febreze when I tried it and I always thought I should try it again with the original squeeze trigger fabric freshener.  And that is just what I did.

Does Febreze Kill Ants 1

 

This is what I found out.  Febreze fabric freshener DOES, in fact, kill ants.  However, I had to squeeze 7-9 squirts to kill an ant.  Probably not the most cost effective way to kill an ant.  Also, the ant did not die an easy death.  It got very twitchy and off kilter and I truly felt guilty about causing the thing such a horrible death.

Which leads me to two conclusions.  If Febreze can make the death of an ant look like it has been hit with nerve gas, what is it doing to humans?  Probably nothing.  I’m sure it’s perfectly safe.  But, still, it made me think.  And second, unless you have a major infestation, isn’t it easier and more humane to use the far more effective method of stomping the poor thing with your foot?

 

 

As Told by The Daughter

This isn’t a normal blog post. It isn’t a recipe or top 10 finds off of H&M. This post is written by Undercover Diyer’s 10 year old daughter. Yes, I was the headless hippie in that one post. I am dedicating this post to organization. That may have been covered by the true Undercover Diyer, but I have more advice. If you’re a reader like me, you can never find anything to read. Of course, if you use your phone or tablet, it is a cinch. But if you prefer actual books, you know the struggle; It’s midnight, and you have absolutely nothing to read.

Tip 1: Go horizontal.  Books are typically set up vertically. Personally, I think vertical is dull. A few weeks back, I went horizontal. It makes the book bindings much neater, and you can see the titles on the side much more easily. You would want to put at least one series vertically. For example, I put all 3 Hunger Games books together, and moved onto Percy Jackson. If you keep stockpiling different series’ on different series’, its going to be difficult getting them. If you have a favorite author that has wrote several books that are not a series, put those together.

 

Tip 2: The Genres. If you have a mixed amount of different books, that have no relation, (regarding author), you should organize them by genre. For example, if you have 3 Agatha Christie’s, and 2 Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle books, put those together. They are both mystery. If you have 2 world Atlases and 3 world history textbooks, put them together. They are both history related. So on and so forth. Here’s an additional tip: Put the books divided into genres on a different shelf than the series/novels.

 

Tip 3: Alphabet. If the past tips really don’t suit you, go through the ABCS. It would go something like: Arthur Conan Doyle, Glenn Beck, etc. It can go by first or last name. Your decision, reader of ours. You can do vertical or horizontal, but personally, it would be cool to see an alphabet of authors.

 

Tip 4: Labels. If none of those tips still don’t help, label. Buy a label maker, and label them things like: Mystery, Classic, etc. They should help the most. If you don’t want to put them on the shelves and you don’t care for you books like they’re your babies, put them within the book. Maybe put them on the page before the table of contents. I reiterate, it is your decision, reader of ours.

 

In conclusion, you can follow this advice and have a neat bookshelf.

 

 Read on! -Undercover Diyer’s daughter.

Hidden Paradise – Alpine Bog Walk

My town has a little secret.  It is home to a very rare thing.

Alpine Bog Walk Wet Enchanted ForestR

It’s an enchanted place.  You can imagine fairies and sprites in the dappled sunlight.

Alpine Bog Walk Fallen TreeR

Or, you can look for the real life endangered species in this rare Alpine Bog Boardwalk.  There are 17 of them here.  Right in my backyard.

Alpine Bog Wet End

Be prepared for wet feet!  Sometimes the bog tries to take over the trail.

Alpine Bog Walk Bog Viewr

My favorite part is when the trees fall back and you’re suddenly in a sunny, stunning clearing.

The boardwalk was built, and then rebuilt, by volunteers decades ago.

Alpine Bog Walk The Dry OpenRPonkapoag Board Walkr

And this is the prize for making it to the end of the boardwalk.

Alpine Bog Walk The End

Caramel Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats

Don’t judge this recipe by it’s picture.  These things are so much better than this picture looks.  Swear.

Caramel Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats

Ingredients:

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1 Bag of mini marshmallows

3 T butter

1/2 bag of Chocolate chips, melted

1/2 bag caramel candies, melted

1.  Melt butter in a pan.

2.  Add mini marshmallows to melted butter and melt

4. Remove from heat and mix in Rice Krispies one cup at a time

5.  In a 9×13 greased pan (or line it with parchment), spread and press the Rice Krispies mix

6.  While treats are cooling, melt chocolate and caramel

7.  Pour melted chocolate and then caramels on top of treats

8.  Allow to cool and then cut and eat!

The best part of this?  These are gluten free!  Read your labels, of course, but this is a great gluten free dessert option.  Super sweet and delicious.  They will knock out your sweet tooth, promise!

Authentic

Authentic Quote

The Perfect Father’s Day Gift

Ok, quick post.  Really sort of a public service announcement.  Father’s Day has to be one of the most difficult holidays to buy a gift for. This year, I have the perfect gift to get your dad person in your life.

Razorpit Razor Blade Sharpener - 1 ea
Can you guess what it is?  That is the Razor Pit Razor Blade Sharpener.  I’m linking to drugstore.com, but you can find it at other on-line retailers, so Google it if you want to price shop.  This is not a compensated post and I don’t do the affiliate link thing.
Ok, so basically, it’s a big hunk of rubbery plastic. You lather it up a little with shaving cream or soap and then you take your razor and run it down the flat surface a few times.  It cleans and sharpens your razor blade.  It extends the life of the razor blade and gives a far closer shave than a razor you have used a few times.
I gave this to my dad a couple of Christmas’s ago and he raves about it.  He says that a blade that he would normally use for days, he can now use for weeks. He worked for Gillette for many years and is sort of a razor blade snob.  He uses the super expensive blades, so it’s a great cost savings for him.
I, of course, am far more thrifty and use the super cheap disposables and the razor sharpener works just as well on that.  It basically feels like you are using a blade the first time every time you sharpen it.  What I really love about it though, is that I feel like I’m using a clean, fresh blade every time.  You can get some nasty problems from using a rusty or not clean blade and that freaks me out.
The Perfect Father's Day Gift