Friday, September 25, 2015

Weekend Happenings, Pinterest Stuff (Gift Boxes AND Date Jars), Thrift Store Challenge Party (ONE MORE TIME) and Quotable Quotes

Good Friday morning!

NUGGETS AND TIDBITS #1 - My niece, Katie, and her husband have recently moved to a place in the country.

And when I say "country," I mean she has a goat now.

I am so excited, and hopefully, in the next week or so, I am going to visit the goat (Daisy)...

And Katie.

And there will be numerous photos taken.

NUGGETS AND TIDBITS #2 - A decision has been made. My official "Grandmother Name" is going to be Nana B.

I will not be changing my mind.

I will not be wishy-washy any longer.

I will stand firm in my decision.

Unless you think I should stick with Desiree'.

Do you?

Do you think I should stick with Desiree'?

Or Big Red?

Or Ever-So-Enchanting Grandmama?

This is a little harder than I thought...

But definitely worth it.

MISCELLANEOUS - Well, Roxie's birthday party came and went last Sunday, and almost everyone was in attendance. I think a good time was had by all.

The Birthday Girl and Hunter.

Roxie, Judith and Hunter.

The owl is the Chi Omega animal, so I gave Roxie a Hooty-Hoot themed party.

Roxie's cake of choice this year was the ever-popular Edgar's Petit Four.

Vanilla and Caramel.

Actually, petit fours alone would never have satisfied our guys, so I made a dessert bar with Whipped Cream Pound Cake squares, Buttermilk Pie, doughnuts, scones and TWO kinds of nuts!

Everyone was happy.

Uncle Austin and Judith.

See the owl?

This vest was exactly what she wanted.

I was sweating just wrapping it.


One more.

Mike, Grandpa, Roxie, Grandma and Aunt Becky.

Brad and Roxie.

Roxie, Brad, Stephanie and T. J.

Austin, Roxie and Melia.

Quotable Quotes

"Homemaking is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, mines, cars, government, etc. exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes? The homemaker's job is one for which all other's exist." C. S. Lewis

I am loving C. S. Lewis today!

Pinterest Stuff

Gift Boxes

A Box of Sunshine (Everything in this box should be YELLOW!)

Lemon Drops and Yellow Gummy Bears
Crunch 'n Munch
Bath & Body Works Kitchen Lemon Hand Soap
Betty Crocker Lemon Cake Mix and Lemon Frosting

You could also go to the Dollar Store and find some great fun yellow things!

A Box of Sunshine would make a great neighbor gift, birthday gift or a gift for someone feeling a little blue.

Happy Fall Box

Trail Mix
Bottle of Flavored Coffee Syrup
Bag of Coffee
S’mores Kit
Chili Mix
Fall Fragrance Candle

You buy the box/basket/container first, and then shop for all of the fun things you want to put in the box or basket. You won't buy too much or too little this way.

Also, this would be one-stop shopping at Target!

Date Night Jars

You have to admit, Dates in a Jar is a different way to go. When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I pinned it "speedy quick."

Ice Skating Date Jar

The color scheme is red, white and blue. You will need red gloves, powdered mocha mix, lip balm and chocolates. The jar could be a vintage blue mason jar.

Start by laying one of the gloves in the jar. Add the mocha and then the lip balm. Fill the rest of the area with chocolates. Tuck the glove fingers into the glove, turn it upside down, stick it on the top of the jar and add the mason jar band. Finally, wrap yarn around the top of the jar.

Once the date is over, fill the jar with mementos from the date (photos, a restaurant menu, the receipt for the ice skate rental, a slip of paper with a few written memories, etc.)

Miniature Golf Date Jar

For this jar, put M&Ms (every great date must include chocolate), golf balls, a mini notebook for keeping score, a pencil, tickets to play mini golf, a gift card to a restaurant and a trophy for the winner! These themed jars would also make adorable party favors!

Also, you can assemble a bunch of the jars and host an ice skating party OR a putt-putt golf party. No matter the occasion, gifts in a jar are so much fun!

Thrift Store Challenge Party (ONE MORE TIME)

More than anything else in this world, I would like to post the Thrift Store Challenge Party for you one more time, BUT Mike and I cannot find it on our new computer.

We are almost certain it is in the computer somewhere...

Or in a cloud somewhere...

Or on a disc somewhere.

Would y'all be so kind to let me look for it one more week?

If I still cannot find it, I will start from scratch.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I will not be able to find it...

Because I'm pretty scattered most days.

Which really means 24/7...

365 days a year.

It's very annoying.

Weekend Happenings

1. Today is Roxie's actual birthday. Mikie and I are on our way to Auburn as you read this for a birthday lunch at Crepe Myrtle's Café with The Chick and a large bag of birthday goodies (just a bunch of her favorite things).

After lunch, we'll be on our way back to The Dale because Hunter and Friends will be arriving sometime early Friday evening for the rest of the weekend.

2. Fun fact for you... Saturday is the beginning of Parents' Weekend for Chi Omega. There is going to be a tailgating party for the guests before the game, and since I am making the trek on Friday, Mikie and Austin are trying to get tickets to the game, and they will be representing the family for this event.

I think I may roll out of bed Saturday morning and spend some time at Pepper Place before I start a big ol' soup/cornbread makin' kind of day at home. My goal...

Enough taco soup AND chicken noodle soup for the entire Faulkner clan (plus a few extra recipients).

And I may bake a couple of cakes.

Or not.

3. Sunday's Chi Omega event is a brunch, and Mike and I will be attending that together with The Chick.

I know what you're thinking.

"Why didn't they just get a hotel room for the weekend?"

It's a good question, and the answer is simple.

I NEEDED to see The Chick Friday and the other events were important, too, and we didn't want to pick and choose.

So we're chopping everything up and making it work.

At least, that's what I hope is going to happen.

Also on Sunday, after the brunch, we are heading home to watch The War Room with some friends. I've really been looking forward to it, and I want to support this film and films like it as much as possible.

That's our weekend. It will be good because I will be able to spend time with a bunch of people I am extremely fond of...

And it's officially Fall.

I pretty much enjoy anything and everything in the Fall.

Have a great day, and I'll be back next Friday with pics from The Plains, Pepper Place, my kitchen and more.

Take care.


The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, September 18, 2015

Weekend Happenings, Pinterest Stuff (Pizza Party and Kid Minute-to-Win-It Games) and Blog Linkage

Good Friday evening!

MISCELLANEOUS #1 - I had a pretty exciting morning. My daughter-in-law, Melia, teaches school in Holly Pond, and she asked me if I would mind reading to her class this morning.

Would I mind?



They were studying the letter "E" AND weather this week.

What can I say?

It is a little known fact I am an expert on the letter "E" AND weather.

I bought and read a sweet, little book about an elephant, and then we made rain.

That's right.

I know how to make rain.

And not only did we make rain one time...

We made rain four times.

I think it may have been a success because when naptime rolled around, a couple of the kids asked me if I would take my nap next to them.

And if it hadn't been for the chance it probably would have embarrassed Melia for her mother-in-law to take a nap at her place of employment, I might have taken them up on their very generous offer.

I get to go back in October.

I hope they are studying the letter "P."

It is another little known fact I am also an expert on the letter "P."

MISCELLANEOUS #2 - I was thrilled last Saturday when most of my little family ended up attending the Auburn v. JSU game.

(Judith is still a little young for such a long, long day.)

Here's how it went down:

1. Courtney and Josh rode with me and Mike, and they also sat with us. (Yea!)

2. Austin and Melia drove separately because they were meeting family friends after the game for dinner at Joe's Italian. They sat with Austin's peeps in the JSU Section.

3. Roxie lives in Auburn now, and she sat in the Student Section.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

4. We met behind Roxie's home-away-from-home when we arrived and set up a quick "snack" station. Chicken fingers, biscuits, cookies, chips, drinks, etc., etc.

Everyone went their separate ways with plans to meet up again after the game.

5. JSU almost beat Auburn.

I am not exaggerating.

It really almost happened.

They are now officially calling it "The Scare at Jordan-Hare."

6. The game went into overtime and Auburn pulled out a victory.

7. Everyone met back at the "snack" station.

8. Courtney officially asked Roxie to be a bridesmaid.

9. We celebrated Courtney's birthday with Gigi's Cupcakes.

10. We visited for a bit...

And headed back to The Dale.

Except for The Chick.

Have I mentioned she's staying in Auburn more and more lately?

The men in my life.

Courtney and Josh.

Did I tell you they are getting married March 5?


Josh and Austin.

Roxie accepting Courtney's invitation to be a bridesmaid.

This makes my heart hurt a little bit.

Melia, Courtney and Austin.

Blog Linkage - If you have a minute, go to www.cockynation.com and read Austin's blog post about last Saturday's game. (Scroll down until you see the picture and heading, "An Apology to the Coaches and Players of Jacksonville State.")

It has received more than 13,000 hits on social media so far...

And as a blogger AND his Mom, I know that's kind of a big deal!

Pinterest Stuff

Pizza Party AND Games

I love this little party because if you have one, two or more kids, you can have a really good time as a family. It doesn't matter the size.

And after a busy week of school, church, extracurricular, etc., wouldn't it be nice to have one weekend night with just you and yours sometimes.

Easy, fun and inexpensive!

Cup Race

You will need 35 plastic cups of same color and one plastic cup of a different color.

Stack the cups with the single colored cup on top. The child needs to restack the cups one-by-one until the colored cup is at the very bottom.

Necklace Challenge

You will need 20 plastic necklaces.

Your child has 60 seconds to untangle and put on all the necklaces one at a time.

Pizza Box Puzzle

You will need one Papa John’s pizza box cut into nine pieces.

Cut the top of your Papa John’s pizza box into nine equal pieces and mix them up. Your child has 60 seconds to put them back together again.

Cookie in Your Eye

You will need one cookie for every participant.

Start by placing a cookie on each child's forehead. They have one minute to wiggle it down and into their mouth. No hands! It’s a lot harder than it looks!

Balloon Toss

You will need two or three balloons.

Your child has to keep two balloons in the air for 60 seconds. For older kids, add the third balloon.

Shake Your Booty

You will need a cake box or a tissue box with a hole cut out, a belt and ping pong balls.

Cut slits in the side of the box and weave your belt through the box. Fill the box with ping pong balls, and give your kids 60 seconds to shake them all out. No hands!

For older kids, use a tissue box.

Weekend Happenings

1. The Chick is arriving home any minute.

Any minute, I say!

2. Saturday will be a get-ready-for-a-birthday-party kind of day. Since Roxie will be home Sunday, we're going to celebrate her day of birth a little early this year.

I have everything planned, but on the off chance she looks at the blog this weekend, I'm going to share pics and details with you next Friday.

3. Lots and lots of family will be here Sunday afternoon to help us honor The Chick. It should be a most festive occasion.

Have a terrific weekend. I'll be back next Friday with pics from The Chick's birthday party Sunday, a new recipe, a party idea and more.

Take care.


The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, September 11, 2015

Weekend Happenings, Restaurant Review - Crepe Myrtle Cafe (Auburn) AND Pinterest Stuff (Glow Stick AND Water Balloon Fun)

Good Friday afternoon!

NUGGETS AND TIDBITS - Mike taught me how to put pics on the new computer last week. Needless to say, he will have to give me that lesson several hundred more times before it is retained.

He does not understand my inability to comprehend tech stuff easily and quickly...

And there is always head shaking and eye rolling and guttural groaning aplenty when he is teaching me.

There may even be tears shed now and again.

However, after some time has passed, he will pull himself together and make the very conscious decision to love me anyway, technology-challenged though I may be.

You may or may not be able to tell, but we have a pattern.

MISCELLANEOUS #1 - A couple of weeks ago, we met Josh, Courtney and Judith in Cullman for dinner, and as it eventually happens when a baby of a certain age is around, someone asked if Judith had tasted her first lemon yet.


No, she had not.

What you cannot tell from these pics, although Judith didn't smile, she did continue to reach for the lemon.

No shudders.

No face rubbing.

Just serious eyes and a tiny bit of puckering.

Josh and Mike kind of hog the baby...

Like, all the time.

MISCELLANEOUS #2 - Two or three weeks into school, I had a HUGE hankering to see The Chick face-to-face.

So on a Friday morning, I started driving and I arrived in Auburn, Alabama around lunch time.

(That's right. I didn't take the helicopter. I just drove!)

Roxie had told me she had heard of a restaurant she thought could be "our" place for the next four years whenever I visited her at school. A little place called Crepe Myrtle Café.

At first glance, it is a nursery only a few minutes from Roxie's home away from home.

Also at first glance, it is a wonderful, whimsical nursery with bright colors...

French chickens walking around the grounds...

A giant swing set...

And so much more.

Of all the things I wanted to buy and bring home to The Dale, this is the one I wanted the most.

"What about the food?" you ask.

Well, it is SO good. You order a fresh crepe and drink, and then you find a table (inside or out). Within five minutes, a beautiful, warm crepe filled with all kinds of goodness is placed before you. On this particular day, I had the Italian Chicken Crepe and every bite was delicious.

Roxie asked if we could split a dessert crepe, and I agreed. She returned to the table after ordering the Strawberry/Banana Cream Crepe.

Three words...




This is "our" place, but just in case you find yourself in Auburn one day soon, I highly recommend you visiting... and eating... and eating some more.

MISCELLANEOUS #3 - We celebrated my 54th birthday at Grandmother's last Sunday. Everyone was able to be there except Courtney and Judith. They were on a little girls' trip with her family.

As is our custom, Katie baked my birthday cake...

And I loved it!

She used GIANT candy on top.

She knows my heart.

We also had my favorite meal... taco salad.

I accepted ALL of my gifts and ALL of the attention showered upon me with my usual grace and "enchantingness."

And instead of taking a bunch of pics with the birthday girl, I opted for the always tricky GIANT FAMILY PORTRAIT.

I was the one setting the timer, so I am a little undone in this shot.

Josh decided to throw a muscle arm in the second try.

As you can tell, I look REALLY good in the second shot.

Josh was reprimanded, and we tried a third time.

If possible, I look even more glorious in the third shot.

You will notice this is the shot where Josh totally took off his entire shirt.

In the fourth and final attempt, Josh didn't look very put together, and I was sweating from running back and forth, back and forth, back and forth taking care of the timer.

If you are wondering which shot is going to sit in my new 5" x 7" frame...

The one where I look glorious and Josh looks incredibly beachy.

Pinterest Stuff

Glow Stick Fun

Glow Stick Ring Toss

The only thing that could possibly make ring toss more fun is doing it in the dark with glow sticks. You can make a pole out of just about anything, and make your rings as big or as little as you’d like. The necklace glow sticks seem to be the perfect size, but you can also connect a few of the bracelet glow sticks together.

Glow in the Dark Drink Cups

This is probably my favorite glow in the dark party idea. Don’t worry, the glow sticks aren’t actually in the beverage. They are resting at the bottom of one cup, with a clear plastic cup on top where the drink goes. Genius!

Glow Stick Hula Hoop

Use the connectors on the necklace glow sticks to make one large hoop, and then connect it to your hula hoop with tape or zip ties.

Water Balloon Fun

Water Balloon Hot Potato

Just like regular hot potato, but whoever has the balloon when the music ends must smash it over their head.

Duck Duck Splash!

Played like Duck Duck Goose, but the chooser breaks the water balloon on the person’s head who they choose to be the chaser.

Water Balloon Back-to-Back Race

Pairs of kids hold a water balloon between their backs and race to the finish line without popping it. If it pops, they must run back to the start line to retrieve another and start again.

Weekend Happenings

1. Today is a "gettin' ready" day for Auburn's first home game tomorrow. Food prep, clothes prep, camera prep...

You get the idea.

2. As of this moment, Josh and Courtney are riding to Auburn with me and Mike. Austin and Melia are taking their car because they are meeting friends later Saturday night. Roxie is holding our parking spot in Auburn! We won't all be sitting together, BUT we are all meeting at The Big Gold Van after the game for snacks and visits.

War Eagle!

3. Sunday will be a Sunday School/Church/leftover Bojangles' chicken finger kind of day...

Which is without a doubt the best kind of Sunday EVER.

I hope you and yours have a delightful weekend, and no matter what you do, enjoy the pleasant temps! I'll be back next Friday with pics from our Auburn weekend, recipes and more.

Take care.


The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, September 4, 2015

Weekend Happenings, Garlic Butter Shrimp, Potatoes Baked in Chicken Broth, Pinterest Stuff (Fun Indoor Campout Ideas), Quotable Quotes, 54 Year-Old Woman Probs AND Blog Linkage

Good Friday morning!

Okay. Mike and I decided the reason my new pics from my camera weren't loading onto the computer had to do with a jiggly USP or UJS or BSP cord.

We couldn't find one at Walmart last night, but I found TWO at Best Buy this morning...

And I bought them both for good measure.

So excited was I because there were so many GOOD pics on my camera I wanted to share with you today, September 4, 2015.

But, alas, it was not to be.

The computer is still not recognizing the pictures from my camera, so Mikie has his work cut out for him this Labor Day Weekend.

If at any time between now and next Friday these pictures become available to me, YOU will receive notice of a new post.

This new post I speak of will not cancel out next Friday's post.

It will just be a little bonus.

Also, I will be using some old pics again today toward the bottom of the post.

Forgive me, if you can.

RANDOMNESS #1 - I went to the grocery store this week. It's not unusual. I am a frequent visitor to the local grocery story.

However, as I was leaving, the check-out clerk cleared her throat and asked me if I was 60.

That hasn't happened to me before in my local grocery store, and since I am not 60 YET, I do not care for it to happen to me again unless it is six years from now.

I have to admit, my first response was one of anger, and I came very close to guessing the girl's weight...

And rounding it up 100 or so pounds.

But then all my years and years of "growing-up-in-the-Bible-belt" Sunday School learnin' kicked in, and I quickly changed my attitude.

Anger was not the appropriate response, of course.


Guilt was definitely the way to go.

"Well, Honey. You have hurt my feelings something awful. I just turned 54 seven days ago. I'm afraid you've ruined my day... and I'm either going to have to speak to your Manager or get a 50 percent discount on my grocery purchase."


That didn't happen either.

In real life, I just quietly mumbled, "No, I am not."

I paid for my groceries...

And cried in The Big Gold Van for a few minutes feeling very sorry for myself.

Until I remembered I had purchased a diabetic candy bar.

So I dug around the bags for that, and promptly ate it.

And then I spent a few more "moments I'll never get back" feeling sorry for myself because it wasn't a Snickers.

I guess we'll file this story under 54 Year-Old Woman Probs...

Just for safekeeping.

In fact, I may or may not have looked exactly like the young, vibrant chick above when I purchased groceries earlier this week.

I am going to say I did.

I DID look exactly like the young, vibrant chick in the above photo.

Now I'm getting angry again.

DISCLAIMER - Please know when I turn 60, I will embrace it and move forward because that is what truly enchanting people tend to do.

AND if you are 60 years of age or older, I am going to assume you not only understand the importance of not skipping one year, two years or, as in this particular case, SIX YEARS, but you realize the importance of living each year...


Each day to the utmost!

And that is all I have to say about that!

RANDOMNESS #2 - I am happy to report Mike and I have picked our Official Grandparent Names...

I think.

Mike is 100 percent certain he wants to be called, "Pop."

I am 51 percent certain I want to be called "Nana" (pronounced nah-nah), and 49 percent certain I want to be called "Desiree" (pronounced dez-er-aaaaa).

This morning, I am encouraged because it would appear Miss Judith will be saying Nana very, very soon (since everything that comes out of her mouth is either gah-gah, bah-bah, etc.).

Maybe my great-grandchildren can call me Desiree...


That is definitely a possibility.

Quotable Quotes - The quotes I am sharing today come from the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

I have never read words put together quite the way Ann Voskamp does it. I can actually see her words "spill" onto the page, and while I cannot sit down and read her book unless I am 100 percent invested, I most assuredly get something from her writings each and every time I sit quietly and read.

"The world I live in is loud and blurring and toilets plug and I get speeding tickets and the dog gets sick all over the back step and I forget everything and these six kids lean hard into me all day to teach and raise and lead and I fail hard and there are real souls that are at stake and how long do I really have to figure out how to live full of grace, full of joy -- before these six beautiful children fly the coop and my mothering days fold up quiet?"

Oh... my... goodness. The phrase, "...and my mothering days fold up quiet," slays me. Completely, totally slays me.

"Praying with eyes wide open is the only way to pray without ceasing."

And this quote is just so true.

It's a good book, but it is taking me a LONG time to finish...

And that's okay.

Blog Linkage - You need to check www.eighteen25.com each day the month of September for really good October/Halloween ideas for you and yours. There are already two or three posts, so don't waste any time. Head on over to this website today!

Garlic Butter Shrimp

You will need the following:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and black pepper, to taste
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon, or more, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.

2. Add shrimp, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

3. Add garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

4. Stir in chicken stock and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Stir in remaining 6 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until melted and smooth.

6. Stir in shrimp and gently toss to combine.

7. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley leaves, if desired.

I have learned late in life that cooking shrimp is the EASIEST and QUICKEST meal to prepare, and there are a lot of different ways to do it.

I wish I had known this in my 20s and 30s, but better late than never.

Potatoes Baked in Chicken Broth

You will need the following:

3 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves

1. Place the potatoes in a deep skillet and add salt and pepper, to taste.

2. Cover potatoes halfway with chicken stock, about 3 cups. Add the butter and cover skillet with a lid. Cook the potatoes in the stock until almost tender, about 5 to 8 minutes, depending upon the size of the potatoes.

3. Remove the lid and allow the stock to evaporate, about another 5 minutes. Once the stock has evaporated, pop each potato using a ladle or large spoon, creating a small crack in each, but do not smash.

4. Allow the potatoes to brown on each side, another 5 minutes, and again season with salt and pepper, if necessary or desired.

5. Remove the browned potatoes from the skillet and place onto a serving platter, garnished with the parsley.

I think this is the only recipe I will use to cook potatoes from now until eternity.

It is just that good.

Pinterest Stuff

Fun Indoor Campout Ideas

This looked like so much fun to me. You can find other ideas on their website, www.playpartypin.com.

1. Bring the outdoors indoors - Start off by decorating the room with rocks, branches, leaves, tree stumps, acorns and other items you would usually find outside. If you’d rather not bring those items into your house, you can also buy fake versions of all of them at a craft or hobby store.

2. Set up your tent - If you have a room big enough for an outdoor camping tent, set it up inside. If you don’t, create one by draping a sheet or blanket over chairs and couches as if you were setting up a fort. Fill the inside with sleeping bags, pillows, blankets and anything else you might need to be sleep comfortably.

3. Build a campfire - Before your campout, save your old paper towel rolls. On the day of the campout, place them around the house. During your campout, have your family find the “firewood” (paper towel rolls) to build the fire. Once they’ve gathered all of the “firewood,” place them in a pile in front of your tent and use colored tissue paper to create flames on top of the wood. Set up camp chairs or buckets around the campfire for seats.

4. Make tinfoil dinners - Cut up cubes of meat, veggies and potatoes before your campout. At the beginning of your campout, have everyone make their own tinfoil dinner by placing meat, potatoes, veggies and seasoning on a piece of tinfoil and then wrap it up tight. If you have a large group, have a Sharpie marker available for people to write their name on the piece of foil. Once all of the dinners are wrapped in foil, put them in the oven and let them bake at 375 degrees for an hour while you’re playing games. Once they’re done, eat them with paper plates and plastic silverware.

NOTE FROM ENCHANTING BELINDA - We have made these tinfoil meals for years. Two things:

1. Spray PAM on the tinfoil before adding any food.

2. I have never cut the meat into chunks. I always make a regular hamburger patty and season it with Dale's Sauce, salt, pepper and cover it with sliced onions and/or mushrooms. (If the kids do not like onions and/or mushrooms, they can scrape everything off the top of the burger before eating. It just makes it taste even better.) I surround the patty with baby carrots and thinly sliced red potatoes before closing the pouch and cooking on 375 degrees for an hour.

Easy prep AND easy clean-up.

5. Play camp themed games - If it’s nice outside, go outside and play outdoor games like Capture the Flag and Tag. If not, set up a camp obstacle course where players have to roll up a sleeping bag, untie a knot, eat five marshmallows, fill a canteen with water, etc.

6. Sing camp songs - Sit around your campfire and sing camp songs like Row, Row, Row Your Boat (in rounds), Rise and Shine and I’m a Nut. If someone in your group plays the guitar, have a sing-a-long.

7. Have s’more fun - A campout wouldn’t be complete without s’mores, and luckily s’mores are easy to make in the microwave. If your kids are older, you can have them roast marshmallows over tea lights or small candles with grown-up supervision. You can also just make a s’mores themed dessert such as cupcakes or s’mores bars.

8. Tell ghost stories under the stars - Before your campout, stick removable glow in the dark stars to the ceiling and string white holiday lights around the room. Once it starts to get dark outside, turn off all of the lights in your house and use just battery operated lanterns and flashlights for light. Have someone tell ghost stories, making sure they are appropriate for the age group or you’ll end up with all of the kids sleeping in your tent. After ghost stories, go to sleep all snuggled up warm inside your sleeping bags.

9. Make Dutch oven cinnamon rolls - The morning after your campout, get up early and cook refrigerated cinnamon rolls in a Dutch oven on your stovetop so they are ready when the rest of your group wakes. Enjoy cinnamon rolls around the campfire before cleaning up your campsite and heading “home.”

This is good stuff, Guys! Enjoy!

Weekend Happenings

1. Happy Day! Happy Day! The Chick is coming home again this weekend.

Well, not home exactly...

But definitely in the immediate vicinity!

I will get to spend a little time with her before she leaves for a couple of days...

And did I mention Mike and I will get to spend some time with her before she leaves late Monday afternoon?


Good stuff!

2. I asked Mike tonight if he minded trying something with me Saturday morning at 11:30...

And he has agreed.

We are going to take Swing Dance Lessons for Beginner Adults at our local Civic Center on Saturdays the month of September.

I imagine we are going to be very, very good at this type dance very, very quickly because of the extensive Professional Ballroom Dancing training we had 27 years ago during a six-week period when we took a class at UAB right after we got back from our honeymoon.

That, and we watch Dancing With the Stars on occasion.

I'll let you know how that turns out NEXT Friday.

3. We were asked to do another Breakout Birmingham game with some friends this Saturday, so we are going to be "playing" the Museum Heist game.

I will let you know if we break out of not.

4. Sunday we will be attending Sunday School and church. If it isn't 100 degrees in the shade, I may make a huge pot of beef stew with cornbread for Sunday dinner...

Not because it is officially Fall...

But because I am ready for it to be officially Fall.

I hope you have a fantastic Labor Day Weekend. I'll be back next Friday with Fall stuff, new recipes, Weekend Happenings and MORE!

Take care.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Old September photos...

Three years ago, Roxie wanted a Caramel Cake for her birthday.

Three years ago, I made an awesome caramel cake for her birthday, but it promptly fell apart and I had to decorate (cover up) all the cracks with huge plastic fall foliage.

She was dreaming of Auburn even then.

And then she got her Driver's License, and things changed dramatically.

Two Septembers ago, Roxie's cake of choice was the Towering Cake of Doughnut Holes. It wasn't hard to make, but the candle placement was tricky.

Last September, Mike and the gang took me to Melting Pot and we dipped all kinds of stuff into a pot filled with liquid chocolate.

Sweet memories.

We went to Slice Pizza to celebrate Roxie's birthday last year. We filled up on pizzas and s'mores calzones.

Roxie and Hunter.

Melia and Austin had a wedding tea.

Roxie played flag football with the other Senior girls and Seth coached them to a win.

Roxie and a bunch of her friends got all dressed up and we took Homecoming pics before the game.

Brad and Stephanie got married. Zac and Josh were in the wedding, and they looked marvelous.

The Lovely Melia and Handsome Austin.
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