Tuesday, August 30, 2011


how do you describe bryce national park in utah? hmm... well it is just about the most beautiful place i have ever seen in my life


i promise to bore everyone who would ever read my blog as much as i bored all my facebook friends with an endless borage of bryce photos (borage? is that spelled right?) Photo-19
so for maybe a few weeks or months on end i will post all the photos i took.. for now though here are the fabulous pool pics from the KOA we stayed in just outside of bryce: Photo-2
our first 4 days we spent in the "luxury" of a koa with showers and a pool... then we moved on to bryce, no hook ups (no electricity or water), luckily we had a wonderful bathroom and showers for 2 bucks. our solar panel worked wonders to keep our battery charged for evening lights (loved reading before bed)... i think the luxurious koa eased us into the roughing it at bryce. a few more pool pix: Photo-55


i highly recommend southern utah for your next family vacation, what a beautiful and amazing state. national parks have never failed us and i feel such pride every time i visit a new one. i wish we could get our government to run as smoothly as our national parks...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


we made it to bryce and all i can say is WOW!!! it's an amazing mix of desert and forest, can't believe we drove past it a dozen times over the years and never stopped. i think this will be our new favorite place! here is a photo from yesterday and i will post a whole lot more when i get a chance:


Thursday, August 18, 2011

cooking over the campfire

so i thought i would share a bit about how we cook our meals during daycamp at camp shiwaka... the first day we spend a lot of time setting up our campsite so we just eat sack lunches at noon. tuesday and wednesday we cook our lunch, thursday we cook our dinner and sleep over and then cook our breakfast friday morning. the camp fire cookbook we use has the same recipes i used as a kid so i like to choose the same meals i remember... often repeating them each year to reinforce the tradition of certain recipes. i am sure most camp fire members will know what "mock tacos" and "banana boats" are and local members will know what "shiwaka stew" and "hobo pockets" are. my favorite dessert as a kid was the gingerbread applesauce cake but when we made it a few years ago, none of my kids liked it :( i think the hands down favorite is mock tacos which is just frito chips with ground beef (i use veggie crumbles) cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and salsa. the chips start out crunchy but end up a bit soggy toward the end, sorta like cornbread. super yummy!


this year after making the fruit salad we realized we forgot to cut up the pineapple so we quickly chopped it up and threw it on the fire. it was AMAZING!


it is camp fire tradition to build low tables where everyone can sit close to the ground and chat during meal times. i find it so relaxing to sit with the girls and listen to their conversations. the thursday dinner this year was especially nice because we had extra time to lounge around before our ceremonial fire.


we have daily capers that the girls rotate through each day and this year the hosts were particularly creative with the table decor...i also noticed the girls helping each other even when it wasn't their chore to do, especially the icky chores. lots of team work all around. i am so glad i was able to take a week off of work to spend this special time with my daughters and their friends. more shiwaka to come...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

kool aid tie dye

so i found out after using kool aid to paint with (a past camp fire meeting) that it stains everything like crazy. the tablecloth we had used while painting had the most amazing tie dyed look to it (i am sure there is a photo of that somewhere in this blog...) anyways i had a eureka moment to make our t-shirts using the kool aid. it smells divine and since we are outside at camp we can make a huge mess


it took about 5 minutes to set up too, easy easy. i recommend making it very concentrated so the colors are bright. we did notice a difference between 100% cotton t shirts vs polyester blends (the cotton worked better) and i liked the effect having a wet vs painting/ dripping onto a dry t shirt (i must note though that if you want these t-shirts to really last and stay true to color you need to set the dye better, maybe with vinegar? we made these knowing the kids would destroy them during the week and probably throw them out. it was the process of making them that i focused on, one kid came with a pink shirt on the last day because she had washed it, oops!)



there were local journalists here that day doing an article on our camp so of course the kids loved being photographed!


one of the crafts we did in the lodge was knapsack tie dye and then sewing... it was a really easy way to teach kids to sew and it looked cute with the girls t shirts. i actually think this idea was so cool i might make some purses/knapsacks for myself with this pattern. so easy!
i am busy planning a HUGE monstrous italy trip for next year and we head out to utah next week. more photos of camp and our trip coming up!

i'm still here....

just recovering from a week of camp shiwaka (the BEST ever!! photos to come) and getting ready for a trip to utah and then i am off to london with my mom.... stay tuned!

just a "few" things i brought to camp with me this year...