Space Coast Lightfest 2016

Space Coast Lightfest 2016

Space Coast Lightfest 2016… worth the drive!

Tonight we went on a Sunday Afternoon Drive… in the evening. We drove around Wickham Park during the Space Coast light Festival. It was really neat! Usually.… I don’t like to drive around and look at Christmas Lights but this really was a great event! The girls loved it. This one was my favorite!

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I even let them stop and see Santa. I can’t remember the last time I did this. Honestly.. I rarely take them to the mall to see Santa. They sat on his lap and did not know what to ask for! They made their lists like a week ago with the Black Friday shopping… and they get on his lap and they can’t think of anything… except Bo who has a very long list.

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My girls. 
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Bree was asked what she wanted and she said… ummm… and Santa said he had didn’t have any ummm left. They were all gone!

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Jane had a real problem sitting on Santa’s lap. I think she was a little embarrassed! 
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My favorite Santa picture of the night! 
 
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Oh then… baby Jayd. She was just precious and so excited to see Santa.

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santa-71  santa-70  santa-69  santa-68 Santa are you real? She just pulled on his white beard. It was super cute!

The lights were wondrous and truly incredible!

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Happy Christmas!

Go and see the Space Coast Lightfest 2016…you will not be disappointed!

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and the reason we celebrate Christmas… because of the Christ child. He is the reason for the Season!

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May the spirit of Christmas fill you heart!

Homemade Coconut Milk

Homemade Coconut Milk

Homemade Coconut Milk. 

“Hold fast your dreams!

Within you heart!

Keep one still, secret spot.

Where dreams may go,

And sheltered so,

May thrive and grow-

Where doubt and fear are not.

Oh, keep a place apart

Within you heart,

For little dreams to go.”

-Louise Driscoll

How to make your own Coconut Milk

Can you make your own coconut milk? Why… yes you can. Homemade Coconut Milk. At first I was a little skeptical but it truly came out beautifully! And it was super easy.. easier than I thought. My dream one day is to become self-reliant and make more things from scratch. It is a learning process for sure. But this… homemade coconut milk will now a forever hold a place in my heart.

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The other day we had a friend offer us some free coconuts from her very own coconut tree. My husband came home with 5 coconuts. I do not like the coconut water from the coconut. I know it has many healthy benefits… but I just can’t drink the stuff. My husband loves it and drinks it all the time. After he chopped into a few of the coconuts with his handy-dandy machete and drank them he threw them away.

He threw them away! My husband doesn’t usually throw things away. I was in shock.

Then he decided to get them back out and save the actual coconut. ( No they weren’t gross from the garbage can.) I keep a tidy garbage can. I am just kidding.

He cut them up into pieces and we saved them in a storage bag in the fridge.

Fast forward about 5-6 days and every time I opened the fridge I had this coconut staring at me. I wanted to use it up. I did not want it to go to waste.  I had not cooked with it all. I thought to myself… what can I do with this coconut??

Of course… I googled it.

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I came across this recipe.. and decided to give it a try. I was so grateful to find this recipe. As I was making this recipe… the thought came to me that I could I use this in my smoothies, in my baking, in almost anything that requires milk. I was extremely excited… especially since I knew eventually we would be roaming the remote islands of the world and coconut milk is expensive. Now.. I can make my own!!!!!

Here is the original creator of the recipe… Wellness Mama. Please click on her link for the recipe. I sat and read almost every 320 comments so I knew I was getting into. What might come about with problems? Well as you can see.. my turned out beautiful!!

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I stored the three bottles into the fridge. I ended up not using all the coconut that my husband had saved, but I was truly grateful for this recipe!

My first smoothie came out excellent! I don’t have a particular recipe that I used… just some coconut milk, almond milk, frozen fruit, spinach, and some protein powder. I added some peanut butter and flax-seed into.. and it was delicious! I am now onto my second smoothie… trying all different combinations. Oh… I also added mango aloe vera juice! It was extremely pleasing!

 

A few extra photos from this week!

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Jayd is really growing up. She is such a great helper in the kitchen! She loves to be right in the middle of my baking or cooking projects! She also loves to be in the camera’s face! I am loving this homeschooling time with her.

We went to the beach again this week… and just walked. Some of us tried to kick sea shells. LOL.

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I think she finally really kicked one… after much practice. We patiently waited for the sunset and were happy with its results!

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On Thanksgiving morning we went on a family walk on the causeway. The weather was perfect! Look at those coconut milk skies. It sprinkled rain on us. We made it to the top and turned around the little ones just kept running and getting out their energy. We were hungry we got back and guess what I a made… coconut milk smoothies.

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May all your smoothies and dreams be dreamy… with this homemade coconut milk. I know mine are!

 

Basket Brigade

Basket Brigade

Basket Brigade? What is Basket Brigade?

“A Thanksgiving Basket Brigade is where a group of local individuals, families, and volunteers come together in the spirit of contribution and help hundreds of families in and around the Space Coast to have the blessing of a Thanksgiving meal.”

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We are new to the area but when we came across this Space Coast Basket Brigade on Facebook… we knew we wanted to get involved. We wanted to help those in our community.

How did we get involved?

We simply donated some jars of gravy.

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And then this afternoon we were able to go and help unloaded boxes and sort the food into tables. We had a wonderful time volunteering. The girls did a great job “helping”.

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We sorted donate items onto the tables that had the item listed. This was a very organized and well run event. They had many volunteers… but my favorite was watching my girls get involved. Team work girls… great job!

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I know many many people were part of making this happen. I am super impressed with their goal of 1500 baskets to help those in need. They started out back in 2009 with only 4 baskets. Last year they did over 1000… and this year their goal is 1500 baskets… SIMPLY AMAZING!

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We were blessed to donate some time and help sort through the donations. I loved being there and dancing, telling the girls to stop messing around, and saying go put this in the green bean pile. YEA… we had a lot of fun!

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A few times.. I found them outside taking a water break. It was hot in the gym and it was nice and refreshing outside.

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After our water break… we got back to work!

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And Jayd even ran a few stairs! After about an hour they pretty much were done.. helping. But I was super proud of them for donating gravy and time!

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It was such a sweet experience!

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I even found one young man amongst the donations who did this all on his own in his own neighborhood and collected needed items.

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Amazing people out there!

Thank you Basket Brigade for allowing my girls to donate time and help such a great community cause!

Good Luck Basket Brigade we hope you reach your goal! 

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I was super impressed with the volunteers tonight… they seemed super happy to be there and help sort for tomorrow’s big day of putting together the baskets!!

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I think this year’s space coast basket brigade is going to be a winner!

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To those amazing people out there… who do so much, who donate so much, who organize wonderful events like this… bless you!

I have had a family member in the past who did not get thanksgiving one year and this would have been a blessing in his life. To those of you who are receiving a basket… may you have a blessed thanksgiving!

 

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

Dinner is served. I came across this recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook called Pork-filled Acorn squash. I bookmarked it and kept the recipe in the back of my mind. Then one day at the super market I decided to buy some acorn squash. (I have never bought them before and I was a little bit intimidated.) I came home and stored them on my counter for several days… still not sure how to cook them.  I decided I needed to use them up.

I got out the recipe book, however, I usually don’t eat a lot of pork so I made up my own recipe.

Take…. Sloppy Joes and stuff it into an acorn squash… you get turkey stuffed acorn squash.

We loved this recipe!!! When eating… simply mix the acorn squash with the stuffed turkey and you will have a delightful dinner.

Aren’t acorn squash’s just adorable vegetables??

This acorn squash is a shaped dark green winter squash (Cucurbita pepo) with a ridged surface and mildly sweet yellow to orange flesh.

When I was scooping out the seeds the girls asked if it was a pumpkin. Nope… it is an acorn squash.
The acorn squash has a very sweet flavor.

I found this adorable poem online… here.

Acorn Squash 

The squirrel’s a brave and brazen sort

Who flies from tree to tree for sport

He hunts for acorns high and low

And saves them up for winter’s snow

When trees are bare, acorns no more

The squirrel comes up to my front door

As if to ask for food from me

“I took no acorns from your tree!”

For acorn’s not my favorite knosh

Unless it’s buttered acorn squash. “

 

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Here is the recipe…

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients

  • acorn squash
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • ½ cup green peppers, diced
  • ½ cup cooked rice
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup-optional
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Gouda Cheese-or any cheese of your liking

Instructions

  1. Wash Squash.
  2. Cut each squash lengthwise in half. Remove seeds and fibers.
  3. Place squash halves, cut sides up, into an ungreased 9x13 pan.
  4. Sprinkle cut sides with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour water into dish until ¼ inch deep.
  6. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, brown ground turkey and minced garlic on stove top. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  8. Once acorn squash has cooked, removed from oven and stuff with turkey mixture. Top with Gouda Cheese.
  9. Return to oven, COVER, and bake an additional 25-30
  10. minutes.
  11. Serve warm.
http://thirtyfiveninetyfive.com/2016/11/turkey-stuffed-acorn-squash/

I am sure you could use any number of meats, ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey. You could really take away or add any number of items to your meat as well. Just make it accordingly.

I loved taking my fork, scrapping off the sweet squash, mixing it with the turkey, and big bite of gouda cheese. Let me just say… I will be making this recipe again.

Enjoy!

Here is a link of some more yummy acorn squash recipes.

 

A little side note… I hope to do this fun idea with Jayd for her homeschooling. Here is the link for that.

A squirrel Craft.

As we don’t drink coffee…. we will find some other item to put on our squirrel.

Happy November!

 

Pumpkin Loaf

Pumpkin Loaf

Pumpkin Loaf.  This loaf of pumpkin bread is made with 1 cup of pumpkin and 1 cup of applesauce. It just screams fall! It is full of goodness, sweetness, and happiness.

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I found this cute finger play poem for Jayd and we loved it!

We sat down and welcomed Mr. Pumpkin.

Mr. Pumpkin

by Ruth I. Dowell

Mr. Pumpkin! Well, hello! 

wave hello

You’re back again this year!

I see your eyes; I see your nose;

point to eyes then to nose

 You’re grinning ear to ear!

trace grin on face with finger

Inside we’ll put a candle stick

curve left arm around like a round pumpkin

To make a lantern light;

put right hand into curve of left arm

 Then, set you on the old front porch

move left (curved) arm onto floor or lap

And let you shine all night!

hold both arms up, palm up

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There is a Mr. Pumpkin (goodbye) that is absolutely adorable for the next up and coming holiday of Thanksgiving. You must check out her book!

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I am truly loving this book and this pumpkin loaf.

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