Oregon Trip – Vacation 2015

Happy Fall, Y’all! We were lucky enough to take a family trip before school started and we took our daughter off to College. Something tells me this may just be the last trip we all take together for quite some time. Hopefully it’s not – but you just don’t know until you “Know.”

Before we hit the airport, we went to the Kenny Chesney Big Revival Tour.  Maddie is a huge Kenny Chesney fan, so we got her Sandbar tickets for graduation. You can see how close we were in the photos.  Todd and Aerik sat in the nosebleeds – Thanks for taking one for the team, guys 🙂

Sunday morning we flew out of Denver International early. We arrived in Portland at about 10:30 in the morning and Continue reading “Oregon Trip – Vacation 2015”

A Big Ole List of Camping Hacks

We bought a new camper this summer.  This is big for me. We’ve had a small popup that has served as hunting base for about 8 years – but it was frightfully small – and has no bathroom.  That means Carrie had to go in the woods….no likey.BIG OLE LIST OF

But we live in Colorado – in the mountains.  Sitting in our home every weekend seems like we’re wasting or taking things for granted…after all – Colorado is extremely gorgeous!
So our new camper is NOT a popup – and it DOES have a bathroom – a real one with a shower…… oh happy days!  Since Maddie was headed to college this fall – I suspect Todd has been trying to tempt me into a love of the woods and fly fishing.  I’m in love with fly fishing already – I thought the woods would be a harder sell. Continue reading “A Big Ole List of Camping Hacks”

About Carrie

I bet if I asked everyone who visits this page to answer the question “Do ‘Homemade’ and ‘From Scratch’ mean the same thing?” I’d get a good split of answers.  The term “homemade” certainly means different things to different people. I decided since we are using “Homemade” in our title, I needed to be very clear about what I mean.

First – “homemade” does not necessarily mean “from scratch” in my life.  A lot of the things I make are repurposed, retro-fitted, or assisted by store bought items.  You’ll see many of my recipes start with a rotisserie chicken, or a jar of spaghetti sauce.  Some of the sewing projects I try start with a store-bought placemat or a Gap t-shirt.

Living the “homemade” lifestyle doesn’t have to be a 24-7 job.  Many of us work full time, but want to put more than a frozen pizza on the table when we stumble in the door from work.  I think this is possible, nearly every night, with planning and thought.

I know there are many of you out there who are looking for ideas, help and guidance to lead a “homemade” life and that’s what I want to provide.  I’m certainly no expert, I’ll be sure to share failures as well as successes, because we learn from both in this life.

So jump in, comment, share and enjoy the ride!

New York City Trip

I’m in New York City this week at a Search Marketing conference.  For those of you who don’t know, that’s my day job….I love it, but it takes constant education and learning.  Maybe that’s what I love?

While in New York, I have a couple of “Must Dos” on my list:

  1. Street food – Chicken & Rice & Lamb Gryo, yes please
  2. Try something I’ve never had before
  3. Walk from point a to b instead cab
  4. Get a picture of the Statue of Liberty

I’m halfway through day 1, and have had a Chicken Gyro…so maybe #1 has been met, they were out of lamb last night.

I also walked about 12 blocks from the Sheraton to the Yotel last night.  It was a really nice evening and Walking in Manhattan feels pretty safe.  There are so many people around, it’s not like anyone could single you out for any mischief easily.  I feel safer walking here by myself than in Seattle…..no lie.

I might knock #2 off tonight or tomorrow, we’ll see.  Not sure when/how I’m going to get the Lady Liberty pic, but I’ll give it a try 🙂

What’s your favorite thing to do in NYC?

Family Road Trip – Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks

The lack of posts recently means I was busy – busy on VACATION!  Todd and I took the kids on a road trip from here in Western Colorado up through Flaming Gorge and into Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.

We had a great time, it was a whirlwind trip spanning 5 days with lots of stops for photos and potty breaks.  Luckily in a national park, most of the photo pull outs also contain some semblance of a bathroom.

Flaming Gorge was a bust as far as I’m concerned.  We only could go up ONE side as it was on our up trip itinerary, so we picked the West side.  It was boring – and flat – and boring.  I might suggest the East side to anyone driving up that way.  Also – dont expect too much from Wyoming when you’re not in the Tetons or Yellowstone – this was my facebook status on our way home yesterday:

Tetons were amazing, as usual.  I just love it there.  We saw some great scenery, some elk, and this adorable Momma moose and her TWINS!  She was actually posing for the cameras, and turned around and all of a sudden here come her babies out of the willows.  I took this picture with my phone – so it’s a little overexposed.

We went into Jackson a few times.  We had a really good dinner at Snake River Brewery.  It was REALLY REALLY loud and busy in there, if you want a quiet spot, this isn’t it.  My favorite meal was at a cute little pizzeria called Pizzeria Caldera.  I had a really tasty Caprese salad and Maddie and I split their Quattro Stagioni Pizza.  It had Mushrooms (sauteed not raw), artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, Mozzarella cheese and Prosciutto – it was amazing.  The Kalamata Olives really made the pizza.  I’m going to make one with Pesto, Kalamata Olives, Feta, artichokes and Italian sausage.  They have a stone hearth oven, I might get something similar to the same effect with my Pampered Chef pizza stone….MAYBE.

Maddie and I went on an amazing 1/2 day horseback ride through the moutains near the Heart Six ranch where we stayed.  I highly recommend the rides here.  The lodging was okay, but they’re actually two ranches combined, with vastly different lodging options.  If you reserve, make sure you ASK SPECIFICALLY for a Heart Six cabin, not a Buffalo Valley cabin.  There is a reason the Buffalo Valley website only shows interior images for most cabins.  The front of the cabins looks like the ghetto – I’m talking scary Bates Motel joint you wouldn’t even stop at and ASK if they had vacancy.  No stain, railing falling off the porch.  There were dirty underwear under the porch when we pulled in and weeds all over.  This was part of our view off the front porch.  Awesome in one direction, awful if you made a quarter-turn to the right:

Blah – not so great.  It was pricey at $240 a night, but that’s what it ran for pretty much anything in the area, and things book up in advance so we were stuck.  The cabin INSIDE was nice, but the outside was scary.

Our wrangler for the horseback ride, Andrew, was amazing and I learned a lot about the flowers in the area.  I wanted to take flower photos but it’s really hard to do from horseback, and I was way to lazy to stop and get on and off, and it was an enjoyable ride.  Here Maddie and I are at the top of the mountain behind the ranch – with the Tetons in the background.  My horse’s name was Wayne – he was a bit of a pill, but have a little riding experience so we got along fine.  Maddie’s mare was named Martha, and was a real sweetheart.

On Sunday we hit Yellowstone. This was a lot of fun.  We saw some great wildlife and views, along with A 90+ minute wait for Old Faithful to erupt – it was worth it, even though I wont tell Todd that.  All in all a great trip.

[portfolio_slideshow size=large]

Frozen Water Bottles to Drink On Roadtrips – No More Soggy Cooler Food

Frozen Water Bottles to Drink and as Cooler Ice

We’re taking a road trip next month – 4 days to Tetons and Yellowstone that includes some fly fishing, horseback riding, and lots of photos and sight-seeing.  I’m planning on packing some road trip food in a cooler, mostly because I’m trying not to eat tons of convenience store garbage – and to save some money.

Instead of using ice, or block ice, I’m going to freeze drinks – water, Gatorade (watered down – we dont like it 100%) and Vitamin Water (also watered down) and use those as “ice” in the ice chest.  There will be some condensation, but not a ton of water splashing around as the ice melts.  And we can drink things as they thaw – and have cold drinks for the trip without stopping and buying sodas.

Frozen Water Bottles to Drink and as Cooler Ice

I’ve been compiling recipes – post to come with those, but I was trying to figure out how to have ice that doesnt make a hot mess out of everything.  I came up with this idea – havent tried it out yet, but I’m 99% sure it will work.  I couldn’t find a pin of this on Pinterest or anything really similar on a Google Search – but I think it will be great.

We’ll see how it works – I’ll post some pics when I throw them in the freezer and pack our cooler for the trip – Might try a trial run with Todd’s lunch next week.

Image Courtesy Deck and Dockside Living