Category Archives: Uncategorized

What’s New: an ending and new begining…

I love this blog and all the memories and ideas it holds. But as my children grow and age, I’ve let it fall a bit silent. I still want to document our outdoor memories, but I don’t want to compromise their privacy. So I will not be posting here any longer. The current posts will remain, but no new material will be added. If you’d like to see what’s new with me and my outdoor pursuits (and some glimpses into our family life) then I invite you to join me at my new place. Peace and many thanks for all the years you’ve read!


Dark Chocolate Breakfast Cookies

I am always on the hunt for healthy, kid-approved breakfast items we can eat on the go (or carry on the trail.) I decided to throw some ingredients together and see what happened….and it turned out pretty good! The kids devoured them. You could really customize these any way you would like. Easy peasy and delicious.

Dark Breakfast Cookies:
•1 ripe, smashed banana
•1/2 cup quick cooking oats
•1 tbsp natural peanut butter
•1 tsp honey
•handful of dark chocolate chips (or try raisins and a dash of cinnamon)
Mix all ingredients, drop by spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Let me know if you give them a try!

LifeStraw Review and Giveaway

**Giveaway Closed**

It’s not hard to see that our family spends a lot of time outdoors. Some of our favorite activities include hiking and camping. I’m kind of embarrassed to even tell you that we don’t usually carry a water filtration device with us, but instead lug all of our water around on our backs. I know that seems crazy, but the idea of one more thing to carry and construct when you’re hauling three kids just doesn’t seem appealing. I’ve even turned down several offers to review water purification systems because I just didn’t want to mess with them for family trips.

But then we had an opportunity to review the LifeStraw. It seemed pretty awesome so we decided to try it.



Y’ rocked our world. It is so simple to use and so effective. Seriously, you just take it out of the box, stick it in the water and drink. Have I mention that I love, um, I mean, need simple? Here’s some product info:


·  Anyone who can use a drinking straw can use a LifeStraw®. LifeStraw® uses hollow fiber microfiltration technology to remove up to 99.99999 percent of waterborne bacteria and 99.9 percent of waterborne protozoan cysts to provide clean, safe potable water.

·  At only 2 oz., Lifestraw is ideal for hiking, camping, running, traveling, working out, sporting events and more, all the while ensuring you’ll have 1,000 liters of clean water right in your pocket.

·  LifeStraw® has been designed to last. The filter is made of durable plastic, is chemical-free, and does not require electrical power, batteries or replacement parts; it is powered by user-generated suction

·  It removes virtually all bacteria and protozoa parasites that can contaminate water, and it reduces muddiness by filtering out particulate matter. 

·  Swiss-based company Vestergaard originally introduced LifeStraw® as an emergency response tool and it has been used by millions of victims of floods and earthquakes. LifeStraw® has also been used to fill the need for safe water in non-emergency situations in developing countries.

What’s even better is that for every LifeStraw sold, some of the funds go towards providing LifeStraws in Africa. Seriously, does it get any better? Simple, effective water purification that does some good for humanity.

“When you purchase any type of LifeStraw® filter, we use part of the funds to distribute LifeStraw® Community institutional water purifiers to schools in Africa. LifeStraw® Community is specifically designed to deliver clean, safe water to school children by removing waterborne pathogens and dirt commonly found in source water”  You can read more about the program here on their website.

And to show you how simple and awesome the LifeStraw really is, I let Big Brother test it out all by himself. Due to his special needs, he sometimes misses out on some outdoor responsibilities, so I thought this would be great for him. He LOVED it!




So now, leave me a comment and tell me why you want to try LifeStraw. I’ll enter you into the giveaway for a FREE one to try out for yourself. Winner will be randomly drawn on August 8.


The LifeStraw® product and information have been provided by Vestergaard. I was provided a LifeStraw free of charge to review, but all opinions and statements are my own.

Catching Up

I’ve been a little busy these past couple of months and unfortunately my blog has slid to the back burner. We’ve had both tragic and exciting things transpire lately, but I hope to be getting back to the blog to document everything along the way. There is so much I want to blog about, but for now, I’ll just let the pictures do the talking….

Daddy and Little Man on the Hiwassee River–


Big Brother and his grandmother braved the rapids as well-




And the little one thinks he is ready-

4th of July fun-

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A New Year

Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
― Alfred Tennyson

DSC_0539We welcomed 2014 with a New Year’s Day Hike and with a sigh of relief we said goodbye to a tumultuous year filled with pain, loss, grief and one unexpected blessing. We’re still trudging along and dealing with some of the hardships we’ve been dealt, but we’re ushering in the new year with hope and optimism as well. We chose to start the year off with a hike as a way to solidify our resolution that this year will center on our family connecting on a deeper level with nature.  We look forward to the bonding, healing and wisdom that we will gain from our time together outdoors. DSC_0546alt DSC_0549alt DSC_0557 DSC_0565 DSC_0572

Happy new year to you all!


Clean Water for your Valentine

As January draws to a close, I wanted to blog about one more social issue that you may consider in time for Valentine’s Day. I’ll be back in February with more regular blogging!



My kitchen sink. The shower. The flushing of my toilet.

All of these places have one thing in common-the extraordinary ability to  easily provide safe water for drinking, cooking, cleansing my hands, bathing and  sanitation.  All of these things I use on a regular basis without a single thought as to how much we take clean water for granted.

But the sad reality is that so much of our world does not have easy access to clean water.

  • worldwide 800 million people do not have access to clean water and 2.5 billion have nowhere safe and clean to go to the toilet.
  • As a result, 2,000 children die every day from easily prevented diarrheal diseases with countless more unable to attend school.
  • Millions of women are unable to work because they spend so much time collecting water and caring for sick children.

That’s why I’m so happy to blog about WaterAid.

wateraidnp28_726-1“Founded in 1981, this charity transforms lives by helping the world’s poorest people gain access to safe water and sanitation. Together with local organizations, communities and individuals, WaterAid uses affordable and locally appropriate solutions to provide safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene education to people in developing countries.

WaterAid has programs in 27 countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific region and Central America, and offices in the US, the UK, Australia and Sweden.”

And just in time for Valentine’s Day, you can spread some love by donating the gift of clean, life-saving water in honor of your Valentine. Go here to learn more!





globalteamI wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

Human Trafficking: What You Might Not Know

Most of us have probably heard various facts and figures thrown out in the media about the large numbers of humans that are exploited, abused and sold as victims of human trafficking. In fact, you probably conjure up images of far away, developing nations where poverty is a way of life and trafficking is common.

So what if I told you that the U.S. is a major player in the human trafficking crisis? 


There have been reports of human trafficking in all 50 U.S. states. In fact, The U.S. is considered one of the major destinations for trafficking victims.

Hits close to home, doesn’t it?

What’s even more disturbing are the statistics:

  • Around the world today, the estimated number of trafficking victims ranges from 20-30 million
  • roughly 26% of all trafficking victims are children

So how can we ignore nearly 5.5 million children, especially when some of them are here in the U.S.?  It seems like such a staggering statistic, but there are ways you can help.

UNICEF works to protect all children from violence, exploitation, and abuse—aiming to reduce factors that make children vulnerable to trafficking and creating protective environments that guard children against exploitation in the same way that good health and nutrition fortify them against disease.

The End Trafficking project is the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s initiative to raise awareness about child trafficking and mobilize communities to take meaningful action to help protect children. In partnership with concerned individuals and groups, the End Trafficking project aims to bring us all closer to a day when there are ZERO exploited children.

To learn more, please visit UNICEF’S End Trafficking website.  Ready to do more? Click here to view UNICEF’s ‘End Trafficking Toolkit‘ for real ways you can make a difference. The first step is educating yourself and then raising your voice.


globalteamI wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

One Blessed Nest

Our Christmas was truly blessed this year.

There were presents…


Fun with family…


And even one huge surprise…



Looking forward to the new year! I have a feeling it’s going to be a magnificent one.

Happy New Year Everyone!  Wishing you lots of love and blessings in the coming year.