Clifton Mill’s Twinkling Lights

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.

Wait, I’m not talking about stars in the sky.

Today I’m going to be talking about Christmas tree lights that twinkle merrily.

About 20 minutes from my house is a working water mill called Clifton Mill.  Each Christmas season, they decorate the mill.  People come from all over to see the lights. Continue reading “Clifton Mill’s Twinkling Lights”

Letchworth State Park – Visitor’s Center, Inspiration Point, and Upper Falls (Blog Post 12)

After going to the Middle Falls, we went to the Vistor’s Center.  I finally found Hubby’s souvenir from my trip.  I found a magnetic that is a piece of wood from one of the trees in the park with the words Letchworth State Park etched into the magnetic.  So cool!

visitor center

After visiting the Visitor’s Center, we drove to Inspiration Point.  We were able to see the Upper Falls from Inspiration Point.

There was construction going on so we were not able to get any closer to the Upper Falls.  😦

inspiration point

Here are some random photos from Letchworth State Park.

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Have a magical day,
Traci

The next blogs posts from my trip to Western New York are going to be the following.

  • Blog Post 13 – Visiting Molly’s Grandpa (Bristol Mountain, Woodville Marina)
  • Blog Post 14 – Back to Canandigua Lake
  • Blog Post 15 – Honoeye Lake
  • Blog Post 16 – Powder Mill Park
  • Blog Post 17 – Flight Home

After I’m finished with my trip to Western New York, I’ll start a series of photos from the Imaginative One and my trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania.

South Carolina Aquarium (Bald Eagle, Mountain Forest, Piedmont, Coastal Plain, Harbor, Liberty Square) – Day 5 Part 4

Join me for the last blog post about the South Carolina Aquarium. There are also photos from Liberty Square where the South Carolina Aquarium is located.

This is the conclusion of our visit to the Aquarium.

Here are some my pros and cons about visiting the aquarium. Continue reading “South Carolina Aquarium (Bald Eagle, Mountain Forest, Piedmont, Coastal Plain, Harbor, Liberty Square) – Day 5 Part 4”

Trip to the ER

I could not get over a stomach virus so I ended up in the ER. Was it just a stomach virus or was there something more serious going on?

All I wanted to do was sleep but I did not have a pillow.  Plus my right arm was hooked up to an IV.  My left arm was hooked up to a heart monitor that checked my blood pressure periodically.

Last Wednesday, I woke up with a gut retching stomach ache.  The Wee One and the Imaginative One just had a stomach virus so I thought that was the reason for the stomach ache.

Continue reading “Trip to the ER”

Letchworth State Park – Tea Table (Wolf Creek), Middle Falls (Blog Post 11)

Have you ever been to a place that reminds you of a hymn that you have sung your whole life?  A hymn that was your grandpa’s favorite hymn.

I have spoken about this hymn and how Letchworth State Park reminds me of this song.

Continue reading “Letchworth State Park – Tea Table (Wolf Creek), Middle Falls (Blog Post 11)”

December 3, 2017 – Holiday Version

When I went through my recipes, most of my holiday recipes are NOT gluten free.  These are the only holiday recipes that are gluten free.

I might need to remedy that issue.  I already have a peanut butter blossom recipe that I adapted to be gluten free.

  1.  Candy Cane Peppermint Puppy Chow
    Candy Cane
  2. Gingerbread Granola
    Gingerbread Granola
  3. Pork and Sauerkraut (Slow Cooker)
    pork and sauerkraut
  4. Candied Cinnamon Pecans
    Candied Pecan
  5. Eggnog Creamer
    Eggnog Coffee Creamer
  6. Gingerbread Creamer
    Gingerbread creamer
  7. Homemade Hot Chocolate
    Hot Chocolate Mix #2
  8. Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer
    peppermint mocha creamer
  9. My Grandma’s Fudge
    My grandma's fudge
  10. Microwave Peanut Brittle
    Microwave

South Carolina Aquarium (Coast, Touch Tank, Random, Salt Water Aviary, Bricks Alive) – Day 5 Part 3

After we finished being in awe of the Great Ocean Tank, we walked to the next exhibit, Coast.

One of my favorite fish to photograph is the lion fish.  It is so cool to look at, however; it is not nice in the wild.

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They had an area where the children could pretend to fish.  Even at 12 and almost 14, my boys wanted to pretend to fish.  Actually the Wee One wanted to do it while the Imaginative One just watched him.

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Here is some more of the Coast exhibit.

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The octopus on the wall is made of Lego bricks and the manta ray is made of trash found on the beaches around Charleston.

The next exhibit we visited was the Touch tank which is one of the Imaginative One’s favorite exhibits at any aquarium.

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While they were enjoying the touch tank, I went to the bathroom on the first floor.  One of the employees was educating guests about a snake.  I can’t remember what type of snake she was showing off.

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After the Touch Tank, we visited the Salt Water Aviary.  There was a heron that just stared at you.  He/ she never moved while we were in the exhibit.

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There are Lego sculptures throughout the aquarium.  Here are some of those sculptures.

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Join me next week for the remainder of the photos from the aquarium.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Letchworth State Park – Mt. Morris Dam, Overlooks, and St. Helena Trail (Blog Post #10)

On Saturday of my trip, Molly and her husband took me to Letchworth State Park.  Letchworth State Park is located about 35 miles south of Rochester.  It’s a 17 miles north to south.

Letchworth is known as the Grand Canyon of the East with the Genesee River creating canyons that are as deep as the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Continue reading “Letchworth State Park – Mt. Morris Dam, Overlooks, and St. Helena Trail (Blog Post #10)”

Apricot BBQ Chicken Wings (GF, DF)

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I made crock pot freezer kits to get me through Christmas.  One of the kits was for apricot BBQ chicken wings.

While I was preparing the kits, I put a portion of the apricot BBQ chicken wings in the slow cooker for our dinner that night.

When Hubby tasted the chicken wings, he exclaimed that they were delicious!

Apricot BBQ Chicken Wings
I served the chicken wings with potato skins from Sam’s Club.  Yummy!

Apricot BBQ Chicken Wings (GF, DF)

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 

Ingredients

  •  4 pounds chicken wings, drummettes, frozen
  • 1 (18 oz) bottle of BBQ sauce or 2 c.
  • 1 c. apricot preserves
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  1. Combine the BBQ sauce, apricot preserves, Worcestershire sauce, and spices in a bowl.
  2. Place the chicken wings in the slow cooker.  Pour all but 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce over the chicken.  (Place the 1/2 cup in the fridge for later.)
  3. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours.
  4. Place the chicken on a cooking sheet.  Drizzle the chicken with the sauce that was saved.
  5. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

Freezer Kit Directions:

  1.  Label the gallon size freezer bag with the name of the recipe, directions, and date.
  2. Place the chicken in the bag.
  3. Combine the BBQ sauce, apricot preserves, Worcestershire sauce, and spices in a bowl.  Pour over the chicken.
  4. Remove all air from the bag as you close it.
  5. Place in the freezer.  Make sure it is flat.

When You Are Ready to Cook the Kit:

  1.  Place the kit in the freezer the night before.
  2. Dump all of the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours.
  4. Place the chicken on a cooking sheet.  Drizzle the chicken with the slow cooker sauce.
  5. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

For a printable recipe with the freezer kit directions and when you are ready to cook the kit, click here.

Source

Happy eating,
Traci

Mom, What’s For Dinner? – December 2017

My family has been upset because I have not been cooking many dinners lately.  All of our meals have been on a whim or we have gone out to eat.

Since I had the long Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to make freezer crock pot kits so dinners will be easier for us. Continue reading “Mom, What’s For Dinner? – December 2017”

South Carolina Aquarium (The Shallows, Sea Turtle Rescue, and the Great Ocean Tank) – Day 5 Part 2

After everyone was up for the day and breakfast was eaten, we headed to the South Carolina Aquarium.

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College of Nursing and the Charleston Harbor

Our first stop was Hominy Grill, my favorite restaurant in Charleston.  I had the Huevos Rancheros.  So delicious.

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They have a cool window where you can order to go orders.  It made it so much easier and quicker so we could get the food before heading to the aquarium.

The aquarium is located in Liberty Square.  While you are in Liberty Square, you can also get on a ferry to Fort Sumter.

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Once we got into the South Carolina Aquarium, we went to the Shallows which gave us a view of the Arthur Ravenell Jr. Bridge.  The boys got to touch the sting rays while we were in the Shallows.

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After we were finished with the Shallows area, we went to the Sea Turtle Rescue area.  The aquarium rescues sea turtles that have been injured.  They operate on them and put them in tank “hospital bed.”  Once they have recovered, they are released back into the wild.

It was the Imaginative One’s favorite exhibit.

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Right next to the the Sea Turtle Rescue area is the Great Ocean Tank.  Enjoy this video of the tank.

Here are some photos of the Great Ocean Tank.

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Next Saturday we are going to continue with the South Carolina Aquarium.

Have a magical day,

What a Bunch of Turkeys – Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 was totally different than Thanksgiving 2016.  Last year, we were in Disney.  This year we were at home.

We started the day by sleeping in.  Both boys slept in which is typical for the Wee One but not the Imaginative One.  He must be going through a growth spurt because he complained about being tired even after sleeping in longer than normal.

After watching the Macy’s Day parade, we cleaned a little bit before heading to the Senior Center to help serve food.  I wanted to help but they told the adults to stand on the side and have a drink while waiting on the boys.

The boys helped clear tables and serve some of the seniors.  Then they helped clean off the tables.  I helped with moving the centerpieces off the tables so they could be put away.

While we were there, we were allowed to have some food which was very generous of them.  So I ended up with TWO Thanksgiving meals.

Here are some photos of our time at the senior center:

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Thanksgiving meal #1
The top photo was my plate of food.  The bottom photo was the Wee One’s plate of food.  Turkey, stuffing, rolls, and lots of gravy.

Some of the decorations

After we were finished with at the Senior Center, we went home, finished cleaning, and cooked the meal.

The Wee One and the Imaginative One helped get some of the food ready.  The Wee One set up the table.

After the table was set, the boys decided to watch Moana because we had watched it exactly the year before at Disney Springs.  The Wee One knew a lot of the lines of the movie.

I had gotten the plates and bowls at the Dollar Tree.  They were made in Canada not China so the dollar a plate is a good deal.  Both the Wee One and the Imaginative One are notorious for breaking plates, bowls, etc. . . so it is a good idea to have $1 plates and bowls.

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Then it was time for the big meal.

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Appetizers
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Family
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The food plus the burnt green bean casserole that went in the trash.
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Gathered around the table
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My meal
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Dessert
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After dinner – the Imaginative One was pretending to be his dad. 

 

I hope you enjoyed my Thanksgiving day.

What did you do on your Thanksgiving day?

Have a magical day,
Traci

So Very Thankful!

Name a color you are thankful for.

I’m thankful for the color purple.  It was Tanya’s and my grandma’s favorite color.  When I see the color, I’m reminded of them.

Something your spouse does that you are thankful for.

He makes sure I get gas every week so that I don’t have fill up the gas tank each week.  It’s one less thing I have to worry about each week.

Something your kids do that you are thankful for.

They greet me at my car door when I get home from work.  At 12 and 14 years old, that is so sweet they still want to show me how much they love me.  Even though they are usually asking me what I am cooking for dinner.

A food you are thankful for.

Anything gluten free – Within in reason – Some gluten free food is disgusting so I’m thankful when I find delicious gluten free foods.

What recent good news are you thankful for?

On Monday, I got the boys Ohio State standardized test scores.  The Imaginative One is accelerated in English Language Arts and advanced in Math.  He was 7 points from being accelerated in math.  He is considered gifted in reading so the accelerated score was expected.

The Wee One got accelerated in science and advanced in English Language Arts and Math.

Name a drink you are thankful for.

According to one of my students, I’m thankful for coffee because I’m always drinking or talking about it.  So I guess I’m thankful for coffee.

Name a restaurant you are thankful for.

I’m thankful for both Hot Head Burritos and Chick Fil A.  I love both restaurants because I know I can get food that is gluten free.  On Hot Head Burritos, they actually label which foods are gluten free on their menu so it makes it so easy to order the burrito bowl that I love so much.  At Chick Fil A, I know I can order a grilled chicken nuggets meal with a diet lemonade.  Yum!

Talk about an animal you are thankful for.

I guess my dog.  He’s 13 years old.  Sometimes he acts like his age.  Right now he’s sleeping on the couch.  Then other times he acts like he is still a puppy.  Last night he was barking erratically about the mysterious animal/ object outside our house.  When we looked outside, we could not see what he was barking out.

Now I’m not thankful when he wakes me up at 4:30 in the morning so that I can give him food or water.  He only recently started this new habit.

Name a beauty product you are thankful for.

I’m thankful for Burt’s Bees chap stick.  I have one in my winter coat, in my desk at work, and in my car so that I can have soft lips.

Name a cleaning product you are thankful for.

I love Dawn soap with vinegar.  Warm the mixture up in the microwave for about a minute and then use.  It removes the soap scum in the bathtub so easy.

What social media platform are you thankful for?

I’m thankful for Facebook because I can stay connected to family and friends who are far away.

Tell us why you are thankful for the last person who texted you.

I don’t know if she is the last person to text me but I’m thankful for Molly.  I met her on the Disney College Program.  We lost contact for 18 years and then reconnected in 2014.  I wish we had not lost those 18 years.  Molly and I have had many adventures together in the last 3 almost 4 years.  We’ve met up in Cleveland, Pittsburgh (twice), my area, western New York (her area), and Niagara Falls.  I can’t wait until June when I’ll see her once again.

Name a candy you are thankful for.

Chocolate – Enough said

Name an app on your phone that you are thankful for.

Hoopla – I can listen to books on tape while waiting for the boys when they are at Scouts or Kung Fu.  I also listen to books on tape on the wait to work and if I’m trying to concentrate at work.

What are you looking forward to that you are thankful for?

In March, Hubby and I are traveling to Louisville to see P!nk in concert.  It’s been on my bucket list for a few years so I’m excited about seeing her.   We are staying in a hotel connected to the venue so that is thrilling.

What are you thankful for?

Have a magical day,
Traci

Monday Morning Walk on the Beach – Day 5 Part 1

I woke up early on Monday morning so I decided to walk on the beach.  The problem is I was still wearing my pj’s.  Not many people are up at that time so it really did not matter what I was  wearing as long as I was decent.

There is not much to say about these photos because they will speak for themselves.  The sunrise was gorgeous.

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When I got back up to the house, my family was beginning to get up for the day.  Hubby and my niece were outside.  In fact, Hubby decided to take a dip in the ocean before breakfast.

My niece took photos of me in my pj’s with Hubby in the background.

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When I got back to the house, the sun was completely up and was absolutely beautiful.

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Join next Saturday for photos of the South Carolina Aquarium.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Seneca Falls – Women’s Rights Museum (Blog Post #9)

After we were finished with the museum in the Welcome Center, we walked down the street to the Women’s Rights Museum.

Continue reading “Seneca Falls – Women’s Rights Museum (Blog Post #9)”

Mom, What’s For Dinner? – Week of November 12, 2017

My plan for this week is to use up foods we have in the pantry/ freezer because on Black Friday I’m going to make freezer meals.  I love New Leaf Wellness because she has different freezer meal plans which helps me organize what I’m going to make.

I’m going to follow the 31 Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Crock pot plan.  Here is a list of what I’m going to make:

  • Cranberry Pork Chops instead of Pork Roast – I already have all of the ingredients for this recipe.
  • Chicken Fajitas – This would be delicious over tortilla chips.
  • Sweet and Sour Meatballs
  • Cilantro Lime Chicken
  • Ham and Pinto Bean Soup
  • Chicken Teriyaki
  • Shredded BBQ Chicken
  • Garlic Mint Pork Loin
  • Honey Chicken
  • Honey Bourbon Chicken
  • Italian Sausage and Peppers
  • Apricot BBQ Chicken Wings

 

This week we are having:

  • Veggie Beef Soup – I made it on Saturday and have 2 quart size jars of it left.

  • Chicken Rice Soup  – We are having that for Sunday dinner with corn bread.

  • Sloppy Joes with homemade French Fries (Ground beef is cooked and in the freezer.)

  • Chicken Fried Rice (I’ll be cooking rice one day.  I’ll then use the rice to make chicken fried rice.)

  • Pepper Steak – (I already have this ready to go in the freezer.  I’ll serve it with rice.)

  • Spaghetti – (I have sauce, hamburger, and gluten free spaghetti for this dinner.)

 

Happy eating,
Traci