I have never cooked through an entire cookbook before.
As far as cooking goes, I like to do it but it’s not my favorite thing to do. However, I do admit there is a certain pleasure you gain from seeing other people take delight in a dish you prepared.
But the above statement does not apply to the mom life. If it’s not a chicken nugget or french fry most kids turn their nose up at anything else.
Therein lies the challenge in making healthy and well-balanced meals that appeal to your husband as well as your kids. Most might say to just make the food and the kids should be grateful. Yeah, perhaps that might be reasonable on some level. In my experience I take a lot of time to budget, meal plan and carefully select grocery items. So, when the kids take two hours at the table to eat dinner I get pretty agitated.
A few years ago we came up with try something new Monday. No matter what dish it was the entire family had to eat it and we all decided if we liked it or not. It went well for the most part. As I started working it was much harder to plan for those nights so we stopped.
Since, my life list challenge includes cooking through an entire cookbook I thought it would be fun to bring back try something new Monday using the book.
As you can see from the photo this cookbook is well-worn. Mainly, because its been through a lot. It is my favorite book and I have tried many recipes from it. However, there are tons more that I never prepared.
So, beginning next week I will make one meal from the book on Mondays. Then once a month I will share some of the photos.
I am hoping this will expand my family’s preferences.
Have you ever cooked through an entire cookbook? Did you end up liking something you didn’t think you would?
As part of reaching my goal to visit every state in the U.S, I planned a Road Trip with my mom and sister. Unfortunately, my sister was not able to make it which created a noticeable absence. I have several friends who live in Arizona and they moved their schedules to prepare to see me so I did not want to reschedule.
We live in Texas and as Southeast as it gets! Driving towards Arizona was a big deal. The total drive according to Google would take 16 hours with 10 of those hours being used to get out of Texas!
EL PASO, TEXAS
Our plan was to drive through to El Paso and stay the night there. My father was in the Army when I was a youngster and we lived in El Paso at one point. I wanted to visit my old elementary school and apartment where we lived. Can you believe I remembered it? Well, yeah I did.
Having the opportunity to visit our old apartment was a blast from the past. I remember playing outside in the dust since there was no grass. You can see from the picture below that grass was just non-existent. Fun fact is we lived in El Paso the year it had this crazy amount of snow dumped on it. We went from desert to winter wonderland over night!
Enough about El Paso and on to the reason for the trip. Along the way we saw desert and Mountains. There was no way I was making a trip to Arizona without visiting Tombstone, the site of the famous gun fight at the O.K. Corral. By the way, I can quote the Tombstone movie word for word but never mind that 🙂
Tombstone is very hot, dusty and dry. The people were nice and some were dressed up to mimic the old way of dress. Here are some photos of Tombstone.
We did not stop at any notable places in New Mexico but I did get this really nice shot of the rising sun. We also crossed the Continental Divide which was a cool check-in for Facebook.
THE GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA
On to one of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen in person! We stayed in Mesa Arizona but I did not get any pictures. It was a three and a half hour drive to The Grand Canyon but the scenery made the drive worth it. I tried to capture the beauty and majesty of the canyon but you just have to be there to appreciate it.
A few tips when visiting the Canyon even if you do not think you will hike. Take plenty of water, even if it is not hot. The elevation at 7,000 feet will take a toll on your body. Also, pack some sustainable snacks such as jerky and trail mix. Do not feed the wild animals. We saw Elk and Ravens on our trip but you can see squirrels, mountain lions and California Condors.
I have a crazy amount of photos from the Canyon but these are the ones I feel will give you a sense of just how beautiful it really is. Let me get on and show you the pictures!
The Grand Canyon was place I will never forget. I am so happy I was able to see it in person and take pictures for memories.
The trip back to Texas was driven all at once starting at 9 am on a Sunday. We arrived in home 20 hours later!! It was an unforgettable time and I hope to bring the kids when they are a bit older. I have officially updated the Life List.
Have you been to the Grand Canyon or Tombstone? If so what was your experience.
This week in science class,the kids learned about the seven species of Sea Turtles. As a special treat we went on a field trip to the NOAA Fisheries Sea Turtle Research Lab in Galveston Texas to learn more.
The whole experience was great. Our tour guides were patient with all of the kids who were present and thoroughly educated them on the plight of sea turtles. After about an hour educational session we were finally able to see the turtles. I had never seen one, like, ever!! So, it was super exciting for me.
We stopped in a field where our tour guides showed the kids what a TED is. The turtle excluder device or TED is a specialized device that allows a captured Sea Turtle to escape when caught in a fisherman’s net. Each kid had to hold their breath while running through the net to escape through the device. Holding their breath helped the kids to appreciate what a Sea Turtle would have to do.
After the demonstration we headed inside the turtle barn. There were all Loggerhead turtles in the facility but Kemp’s Ridley are the main turtles who nest and frequent the Texas Coast. Us natives know that y’all. Sorry my Texan slipped out. 😉
All in all it was worth the six month wait. It was such a beautiful day that we headed down the Sea Wall and walked the beach. The kids got to see a Moon Jellyfish and Barnacles attached to a rock. I am not a fan of barnacles but it was cool to see the kids so fascinated by them.
Technically, I did get to see a small sea turtle that was less than a year old. I think that qualifies as a baby and thus fulfills one activity on my Life List!
I do know that Sea Turtles are on the endangered animals list so I was not expecting to hold one today. Hopefully one day, I can have the privilege of holding one.
On the Gulf Coast we know not to touch Sea Turtles or disturb their nests. If you visit the coast and see Sea Turtle tracks or an actual turtle you can call 1-866-Turtle5 and someone will come out to assess the area.
Have you ever seen a live Sea Turtle or the nest hatchlings?
We took the kids on a day trip to visit a little place where we love to get pecans. It is about 20 miles from Austin. We live about two hours from Austin so it was not an entirely long trip but with three kids in the car they can get fidgety. I will say this, the kids did not appreciate my 80s/90s karaoke session!
While visiting Berdoll, we stopped at the 14 foot squirrel and snapped a photo. It was a lot of fun and the now the kids can tell people they have seen a 14 foot squirrel!
Once we finished with our pecan trip, the kids suggested we keep driving to Austin in order to see the Texas State Capitol. The husband and I thought it was a great idea. I more so because it is on my Life List!
Here are a few pics inside the Capitol.
We had a great time and finished it off with some great Texas BBQ! I consider this trip a success and can update the Life List Page!
All too often we can get so absorbed with living our day-to-day lives that we forget to truly live our life.
Creating a life list has been something I have wanted to do for quite some time. Most of the things on my list will be done with my family. However, there are other tasks that I want to accomplish by myself for my own fulfillment.
As each event is completed I will update the list with the date and record the details of the adventure! I am really excited to get started. Having a life list just helps me to make sure that I am getting out there and really living.
Lots of things on my list do not require much money. Whereas other items such as travel, may cost a bit more and naturally may take more time to achieve. Nevertheless, with a bit of budgeting and planning it will all come together.
The List List is on menu tab and is by no means complete. I will add to it as I think of more adventures.
Do you have a life list? What are some things you want to accomplish? Share in the comments 🙂