Just a couple of Deatheaters…

We did a thing!

A local music hall (Vinyl Music Hall) hosted a Harry Potter Yule Ball (so cool, right?!!). Even though the hubby struggles with crowds, loud noises, etc, he promised he would try… so we bought tickets on a spur of the moment decision after learning that a friend of ours was also going.

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I personally *love* Harry Potter, but hubs tolerates it. He decided to go to appease me, haha. The Yule Ball featured a costume component, and I think that was the main reason he was interested in joining.

We both enjoy antagonists; villains are some of our favorite characters (but don’t get me wrong, I adore a good hero.) But when it came to creating costumes for this Yule ball, we totally wanted to go as Deatheaters!

We didn’t have a very long time to work on our costumes, roughly two weeks, but I think they turned out great!

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I made our cloaks, Joe whittled his wand out of a stick, I made mine from a chopstick and a marble (ha!). We decorated our masks with vinyl and paint. My Dark Mark “tattoo” was actually painted on and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it lasted during the night.

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After arriving, we put on our masks and had a few photo ops with other attendees. It was a blast! The band was amazing, too. Grand Theft Audio performing as Dumbledore’s Army. I would absolutely love to see GTA perform (as themselves) one day again.

There was also a costume contest! Can you believe that we came in second?! Second! What?!

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There was even a photographer from the Pensacola News Journal there, and he captured a few shots of the costume contest.

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We taste tested Butterbeer (it was alright…), took a Wanted Wizard photo, watched two artists paint, and passed out cold when we got home…we did all of this sober, too! FUN!

 

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I am already plotting my costume for next year. We definitely want to go next year. And I want another fun costume. I’m thinking … Dolores Umbridge? Molly Weasley? a Quidditch player?? The possibilities are endless!!

 

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Trying something new…

I would like to try something new in this blog post – capturing a family memory, while it is still fresh. Bear with me.

Ethan joined the Cub Scouts, and his dad and I ended up becoming Den Leaders.

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We’ve taken a big role in planning and preparing the Tigers for their achievements, and the Pack we are a part of participated in a camping weekend at the local Boy Scouts campsite. As soon as we heard about it, we knew we wanted to go along.

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It was the weekend right before Halloween, so I was quite concerned about hubby, but it ended up being a fun, safe and enjoyable weekend.

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We have quite a bit of camping gear already, but we decided to grab a camp stove and some new sleeping bags. Next time, however, we are definitely getting an air mattress (that ground was painful!).

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We had grilled cheese and foil pizza sandwiches, the kids had hot dogs, as well.

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We slept in a 4 person tent for two nights. The first night, the boys were both tuckered out and slept sound; the second night was a different story. Rynn was so worn out, but so uncomfortable on the ground/sleeping bag that he tossed and turned then cried/whined most of the night.

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Definitely wasn’t very restful (so when I say we are getting an air mattress next time, I was not kidding!). I think if he had been on an air mattress, he would’ve been more comfortable.

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There was quite an activity list, and Ethan worked hard to participate in as many activities as he could. He was the only Tiger from our Pack in attendance, so he joined up with the Bears that were there.  They had such a wonderful time! Their group completed pretty much all of the options, with the exception of the BB guns and fishing (there just wasn’t enough time!!).

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Ethan did really well with the archery, he hit the target!

In the leatherworking hut, he designed my birthday gift – a “Mom Cub” necklace. I totally rock it!

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Ethan waited for about an hour with his Bear buddies to participate in the hay ride, and he said it was about 45 minutes and cool.

At the end of the day Saturday, the campsite offered a few Halloween themed activities – Trunk or Treating, DIY face painting, and a Spook Trail.

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We did the Trunk or Treating (it was so dark!) but we did not do the Spook Trail (too many variables that could’ve caused issues with the hubs!).

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I wish I had gotten a photo of the trunk or treating festivities, but it was fun all over. Ethan was dressed up as a minecraft character from Dan TDM and Rynn was Iron Man. They both had a blast!

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We are currently planning to attend the next camping event called the Tiger Growl in February. It is specifically for Tigers and will focus on helping the Tiger Cubs earn credit towards their electives. So excited already!

 

 

Let’s be super cute for a minute.

 

I found something on pinterest the other day and I swooned. Like, instantly. They were these super cute s’mores snacks and they had *sprinkles.* You can find the original post inspiration here. The difference, I believe, is that I’m not using marshmallows – I’m using marshmallow fluff!

S’mores + Sprinkles = YES.

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I’ve had this obsession with marshmallow fluff for a while, which I haven’t kept secret, but that meant I had a jar of fluff on hand. You can see evidence of the start of my obsession with my cereal bars.

I will need to buy another jar of fluff…I have a recipe in the works that I need to tweak (thinking here, chocolate chip fluff bars…but they just aren’t there yet) and with less than half a jar of fluff, I wanted to play with these cute s’mores snacks.

My niece had a field trip day, and I volunteered to pack her lunch for the trip. I really just wanted an excuse to make these treats!

There isn’t a “recipe” per se for these, just a sort of, “do this, then that” and you’re done. Super. Easy.

For reals.

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For starters, you’ll need graham crackers, marshmallow fluff, melted chocolate (I used Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate chips), and sprinkles!

Break the graham crackers in half, then in half again. You’ll end up with four sections. Spread a good dollop of fluff on one graham cracker, gently smoosh the other on top…dip in melted chocolate, place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper, toss on sprinkles and chill.

Done!

Told you it was easy.

The most difficult part may be not eating them all.

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New Adventures in Scouting

Well we’ve either done something brilliant, or we’ve dug ourselves into a deep hole. I’ve yet to decide.

What I have decided is that I have found a place that calls to me! Well, a second place (the first is the classroom. Oh how much I *love* being in there!!).

Ethan brought home a brochure for Cub Scouts and told us he was interested. We attended the sign up/information meeting, and here I am, two weeks later, DEN LEADER! Can you fathom?!

I’m not sure how it happened, other than being talked into it, discussing it over with the hubster and us *both* being incredibly excited to start this journey as a family.

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I’ve never been involved in scouting before, so I really don’t know what to expect, other than fun, long days, camping trips, badges, oh my!

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This past weekend we attended our first Pack Family Fun Day, and this coming weekend we have our very first Den Meeting. After meeting the boys and their families, I can say that I am incredibly thrilled to be starting this journey as Den Leader.

I have crazy organization, put together folders for the boys with print-outs of the 6 required adventures, our Den meeting schedule and a welcome letter.

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To help me keep track of the boys’ progress, I even purchased the tracking chart from the Scout store. I will use this to keep track of each boy, so that I know where each boy is. In my Den Leader binder, I have individual tracking sheets for each boy, so I can keep more detailed notes on their progress to earning their badges!

At our Pack Fun Day, the boys had an opportunity to earn an easy badge from the Boy Scout troop hosting us, all they had to do was show their knowledge of the Cub Scout handshake.

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I think we are going to have a wonderful time, and I can’t wait to share some of our adventures with you!

Do you have any experience with the Cub Scouts? I would love to hear your thoughts, tips, and memories!

S’mores Cereal bars

This post has been a long time in the making. Like, literally the whole summer. I made these months ago, and still think about them! They photographed beautifully and tasted just as yummy.

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I haven’t made cereal bars in forever, and let’s face it, the classic Rice Krispie treat is amazeballs. But what I really love about cereal bars is the ability to customize them. Throw in my latest love, also known as Marshmallow Fluff, and you’ve got an easy, tasty and kid friendly snack!

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But then I started thinking that with summer happening, s’mores sounded yummy…I had marshmallow fluff on the brain, a box of Golden Graham cereal, and chocolate chips…do you see where my tummy was going?!

When thinking about these bars, I totally overthought the concept, but I’m really excited by how thick and marshmallowy they turned out. I threw in extra marshmallows when I added the chocolate chips and I think that helped create pillowy pockets of marshmallowy goodness within the s’mores bars.

 

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These cereal bars are super easy to make but I do recommend refrigeration.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mini marshmallows (1 cup for melting, 1 cup for after)
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 6-8 cups Golden Grahams (I used closer to 8 but it’s definitely your preference!)
  • 1 jar (13 oz) marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Look at your oven and say, “Not today, Homeslice!”
  2. Lightly spray a 9×13 pan with Pam (or line with parchment paper).
  3. Pour cereal into large bowl, set aside.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add 1 cup marshmallows and melt, stirring frequently until smooth.
  5. Pour melted marshmallow over cereal, then add in the fluff.
  6. Stir gently. Add in the remaining cup of marshmallows and stir to combine.
  7. Sprinkle in half a cup (or so) of chocolate chips and store to distribute throughout. You can kinda eyeball it at this point, if you want more chips, add more.
  8. Press into the prepared pan, but don’t beat it down, just gently press. I don’t like compacted bars…
  9. Sprinkle extra chips and marshmallows over top. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  10. Cut into bars and enjoy!

 

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and I have to giggle. You guys have obviously seen those super cute, perfectly put together blogs, where they expertly arrange photograph sessions, everything is beautiful and they always have *the best* props?

I was just excited to have a green/white striped straw that I swiped from the toddler’s drink cup! HA!

I am pretending to be a fighter.

The phone rings, and since I knew to expect this call, I answer quickly.

He is polite, introducing himself, asking after me. Asks for me as “Mrs” in his respectful tone. 

“Can you tell me if she is home, I need to speak with her.” 

I know he does, and I confirm that he is, indeed, speaking to me. This is met with a moment of quiet, and I instinctively know he’s questioning if he’s dialed the right number, when he says, 

“I am looking for a Mrs. Coconuts to schedule an oxygen delivery. Do I have the correct Mrs. Coconuts?”

Quietly, I spoke, “I’m sure you’re used to much older voices when scheduling deliveries, however, you do have the proper Mrs. Coconuts.”

Again, another silence, and I could almost imagine that he was thinking his next statement through, “I did think your voice was young, not nearly the type I’m used to. Are you alright?”

“Aside from being tired, yessir I’m alright.”

“So…,” pause, “how…? I mean…” Vocal confusion, “why…? If you don’t mind me asking?”

I know he’s very curious. He has the prescription from my doctor that says 24/7 Oxygen, 2L an hour (not much but more than a typical woman my age should require).

So I try my best to easily explain my ongoing-not-easy-health-hell… “I have a myositis that causes inflammation. It has recently spread to my lungs, which has brought me to this point.”

Another pause then, “We don’t have to deliver now, are you sure you are ready for this?”

And everything swirling in me is screaming no, please, no. I’m too young for oxygen. I’m 31. 31.

But as calmly, and bravely as I could, I say, “I have to be. I can’t let it beat me.”