Adios, October!

School Pumpkin Patch trips, 

Fried everything and Turkey legs at the Arkansas State Fair,
Zombies at the zoo,
Fall Fest at school,
Trick or Treaty fun,
and Candy meltdowns! 
Even with our vacation this month,
October wore me out!
How about you? 
Adios, October- Hola, November!

Just Peachy!

Last week we drove to Clarksville to pick a little bit of heaven 
(with a bonus visit with my wonderful Grandpa, aunt, and cousins!)
Some of our helpers.
 The peaches are fantastic this year, so worth the drive.
There are so many and they are so abundant and sweet!

Red Havens and White Nectar (or Winblo?) Peaches
 Of course all the kitchen counters covered with peaches means 
I had to get busy putting them away…
(Peaches turn quickly if you’re not careful!)
So I made peach pie,

 Two batches of peach jam…
First batch of Peach Spiced Jam
 Some canned peaches…
Canned Peaches

My mess
And also a beautiful fruit salad 
and several quart bags of frozen sliced peaches to use later!  
It wouldn’t be bad if I wasn’t allergic to fruit…
It’s really hard to not eat some!
Also,  Johnson County has a beautiful new outdoor recreational area
so we checked it out.  There water park is only $6 and nicer than anything we
have in the Central AR area.  The kids had a blast.  They are working on an indoor
pool that looks like it will rival anything here!  I’m a bit jealous! 

On Playin’ Hooky

My kids just finished their second week of school!
The first week we missed two days because we were in St. Louis on a 
last minute family vacation.   
(In all honesty, my honey was there for work so he didn’t get to play as much as we did…)

A fun, fast, last minute summer trip…

On Taking a Bite of the Big Apple

Being foodies most of our NYC trip
 revolved around a particular place we wanted to eat, 
or something we wanted to try…
Just some of the great places we ate…
Katz’s deli (A classic with a great staff)
Sugar and Plumm (Super cute!)
Junior’s (Way too busy but pretty good cheesecake)
Osteria Laguna (FANTASTIC! I’ll have dreams about this food)
and lots of other good stuff!  
I have to say I was disappointed in most of the bakeries we tried- 
just really commercial and not old school like I expected.  
(What’s up with the macaroon fad anyway? Guess it’s the “new cupcake?”)
Also I was really surprised that we couldn’t get a decent cup of coffee anywhere!  
But the rest of the food (and service) was pretty much AMAZINGl! 

On Fun in the Big Apple

My daughter wanted a girls-only trip to NYC
for her 16th birthday…
My girl and her grandmas

She finally got her wish a couple of weeks ago!

We had big (unrealistic) plans to see almost every major tourist spot, see some shows, take some dance classes, and most importantly- find pointe shoes that fit! (Oh, and eat lots of good stuff!)
I’d bought the NYC Pass before we left.  It’s a pretty good deal, and although we didn’t see but 4-5 things out of the 80+ we could have we did get the right to jump to the front of the line in most places.  Figuring most things cost at least $20+ each I think it was worth it… REALLY worth it when you are short on time.  If we’d had another day we probably could have used at least 4 more places, if not more.  If we go back with the boys I’ll get it again, just because its worth it to me to not have to wait.   I’d say if you get it make sure to look on the website and plan what you’ll be doing each day, just to get your money’s worth.

So what DID we end up doing?

  • LOTS of walking! (Subways are HARD to figure out!)
  • Times Square hotspots (M&M store, Toys R Us, Ellen’s Stardust Diner, etc.)
  • Lots of dance stores & classes (Grishko, Capezio, Chacott/Freed, Yumiko, STEPS)


  • Chinatown
  • Little Italy
  • Top of the Rock Observation deck
  • Shopping
  • Pippin  (I bought tickets before we left and so glad I did!)

  • Cinderella (got 1/2 price tickets in Times Square)
  • South Street Seaport
  • Central Park
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Museum of Natural History
  • MOMA (Museum of Modern Art- got to see the Rain Room!)
  • Rockefeller Center
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Always Look Up!

Spring Break -Part 2 (or On Being Snowed In: St. Louis Style)

Part 2 of our Spring Break…

Thursday of our week off we drove to St. Louis, MO.
(It’s about a six hour drive from here.)

What is fun to do in St. Louis for families? (Just for you, Kelly!)
Our top picks:

1. City Museum 
(This is honestly the main reason we go to St. Louis.)

An old shoe factory that’s been converted into the most awesome artist colony you’ve ever
seen.  Artists have turned empty spaces into a magical wonderland for both children and adults.
Your imagination can go crazy (and so can the kids!)  Plan to spend an entire day here.   This is the most expensive thing we do in STL and it’s around $13 a head I think.
There are lots of clubs and restaurants in this area also so you won’t be bored!

city museum stl
My kids want to live here!

Inside the “caves” 15 story slide!

Opera Poster exhibit I adored

Waiting to hear it play

2. Forest Park (Home of the 1904 World’s Fair)
So many things to do IN the park (and many for FREE)- We’ve been in the summer and rented bikes there- that way you can explore the park and go from attraction to attraction. 

  • St. Louis Zoo (FREE, and as my happy husband said “They have BEER!” If you park in the zoo’s lot it costs $10, but you can also park along streets in park for free.)
Beautiful butterflies
  •  St. Louis Science Center (free)

  • Grand Basin (or the grounds where you can fly kites, picnic,  or just let the kids run- and free)

We happened upon a nice guy flying a kite so high up you could barely see it.  He let us all “fly” it for a bit and talked about the science of kite flying. 

My family visiting the second silver tree in a week- second state!
  • Missouri History Museum

  • St. Louis Art Museum (free)


Dear Old St. Louis

3.  Fitz’s American Restaurant
In the DelMar loop- A fun family place to go after the park, Fitz’s makes their own Root Beer and soda right there.  You can see the bottling plant working while you eat. 

Be warned- This is a float SPLIT in 1/2!

 4.  The Gateway Arch  (This was the first time we didn’t stop to see it.  You can ride up to the top, or just explore the park and the Museum of Westward Expansion under the arch which is free.)

5. Anheuser-Busch Brewery 
(We didn’t visit the brewery this time either.  It’s a neat FREE tour of the factories and stables for the Clydesdale horses.  I find the history and actual factory very interesting.  Some like the free sampling and snacks at the end of the tour… Kids like the horses the best I think.)  Grant’s Farm is also supposed to be a really neat place to visit but it wasn’t open this trip due to weather.

My honey had to work the next week so our plan was for us to drive up and stay til Sunday morning, and he’d fly back the following week after working at his company’s office there.

However, Mother Nature had other plans!  Snow started Saturday night and by Sunday morning this was our view from the hotel…

Snow Dancers Outside the hotel
 12 inches of snow by the time it was over!
Another day of vacation is never a bad thing, right?

On the way back we stopped at Lambert’s Cafe “Home of the Throwed Rolls” in Sikeston, MO.

Really a fun place for kids- they actually yell “ROLLS?” and if you want one you raise your hands and have to catch them.  Really hot, good, homemade rolls.  Wish the butter was real…
The kids liked the giant drinks and all through the meal they come around asking if you want this or that.  Make sure you’re hungry or share a meal.  We shared and still had leftovers for days. Oh, and they don’t take credit cards…(this is when a teenage daughter who doesn’t spend money comes in handy- Thank You, E.)

For more fun in St. Louis check this out:
They have a great food festival Labor Day weekend that’s FREE and fun!
 St. Louis in Fall

*If you’re driving up from LR, also check out Blue Owl Bakery in Kimmswick, MO (fun!), Mastodon State Park and Museum of Transportation right before you get to St. Louis.  REALLY fun with kids!