Colby Park

This past week was absolutely gorgeous out. We spent pretty much everyday outside! We also checked out a new park … Colby Park in Windsor Heights.

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Colby Park is an awesome park and has a lot to offer. It is nestled behind the Wal-Mart and in a residential neighborhood. It’s exact address is 69th and School Streets.

There are LOTS of slides and two separate playgrounds to play on. There are also lots of swings, items to sit and bounce on, and a climbing wall!

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I love the amount of open fields there are and picnic tables available. It is a perfect park to spend the entire day! Pack a lunch or snack! There is also a tennis court and baseball diamond available to play on, if you get tired of playing on the playground.

Another awesome feature is the Walnut Creek Trail that leads into the park. After you are done playing, you can get on the trail and go exploring! You could even ride your bike! If you follow the trail underneath the interstate, you will go by a special dog park. So make sure you bring your furry friend with you!

Colby Park is the main park for Windsor Heights and hosts lots of events through out the year. You will also find the Windsor Heights Community Center, which is HUGE and beautiful. You can rent this facility for a fee. It is a great place to host wedding receptions, birthday parties and more! On the back side of the center, are the bathrooms which our clean and very nice to use when you are at the park! I felt very comfortable taking all the kids in there for potty breaks 🙂

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There is soo much to do at Colby Park. Lots of playing and exploring can be done. Even babies have fun too! 🙂

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Make sure to put Colby Park on your bucket list to check out this Spring and Summer!

Decorating and Santa Visit

We have been crossing things off our 2013 Holiday Bucket List left and right! I love this time of year and having a little one makes it even better.

There are so many places where Santa is making an appearance. Make sure not to miss out! I created an awesome list just for you.

We have seen Santa twice now! We first saw him at the East Village Holiday Promenade, which went okay. Monte would not sit on his lap, but gave him a high-five! Travis and I took Monte to Valley West Mall’s Winter Wonderland. I think that Valley West Mall offers the best Santa set-up. They have a train and the area is decorated beautifully!

 

Monte did great with Santa! He sat on his lap and did not get upset!

Excuse his wild hair! 🙂 Afterwards, Santa handed him a coloring book and crayons and he looked right at him and said “thanks”. It made my heart melt, I might have teared up a bit also.

Not only did Travis and I accomplished almost all of our Christmas shopping, but we also decorated the house and tree!

Monte was a BIG helper with putting the tree together!

We gave him a Disney Christmas Book which plays Christmas music and he can “play” the piano with! He loves it!

We were also fortunate enough to be given another artificial Christmas Tree. We set it up downstairs and Monte got to decorate it however he wanted. I am so happy we thought of this idea, because every night he will take some “kid-friendly” ornaments off the tree and then place them elsewhere on the tree. It keeps him busy and he is so proud of himself when he does it!

Have you taken the kiddos to visit Santa yet? Where was your favorite place to go?

East Village Holiday Promenade & First Snow!

Yesterday it snowed our first “big” snow! Meaning snow stuck on the ground and is still on the ground!

I am so happy it did snow, because now I feel a little bit more comfortable listening to Christmas music and doing holiday festivities 🙂

Monte was ready for the big snow!

Even though we may not be completely finished with our 2013 Fall Bucket List, we did cross the first thing off our 2013 Holiday Bucket List last night … the East Village Promenade. It was a bit chilly, but it was a fun evening to get us in the spirit!

The East Village was decked out in lights all the way down the street. Monte thought those were awesome!

Our first stop was the State Historical Building where Santa, a DJ, and a chili supper was being held for Toys for Tots. I was not sure how well Monte would respond to Santa this year. Last year, he was a little young and I don’t think he really understood what was going on. This year, he smiled at him, but as soon as we got him on Santa’s lap, he was not a fan.

He did give Santa a high-five and “pounded it” with him. I’m glad it was not such a horrific experience!

After visiting with Santa, we headed to dinner at Quinton’s! Oh my goodness, if you have not been there, it is defiantly one place to check out! It’s a sports bar, but the various burgers and sandwiches they offer … are amazing!

While we were waiting for our food, chatting and some were playing foosball … a group of carolers came in!

After we stuffed ourselves with good beer, sandwiches, and burgers … we headed out to enjoy more lights and do a little window shopping. I have never really shopped in the East Village before and was surprised by all of the unique, local stores! Jett and Monkey’s Dog Shoppe was a fun dog  bakery and supply store. They had a few small dogs, that Monte enjoyed seeing. Raygun where they offer t-shirts, local labels, and vintage merchandise. Sticks! I love all of the unique items available. My dad purchased a basset coffee cup for himself 🙂

Overall, the East Village Promenade was a hit! It was the perfect way to kick off this 2013 holiday season. I am excited!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Friday evening and has an awesome weekend! Enjoy this snow and some hot cocoa!

Mini Apple Pies

We are nearing the end of the 2013 Fall Bucket List! This weekend I crossed another thing off  the list and made Mini Apple Pies inspired by Little Bit Funky’s recipe!  I decided that mini apple pies would be a lot easier for Monte’s hands to eat and carry around. Of course I made some changes and also halved the recipe.

Makes 18 individual apple pies

Ingredients 

4 cups chopped apples – Approximately 4 apples depending on the size. You can also peel the apples, I chose not to.

7 Tablespoons flour

3/4 cups sugar

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 Tablespoons chilled butter, cut into smaller pieces

2 boxes of Pillsbury pie crusts – not frozen, refrigerated

Directions 

1. Peel (if you choose to) and chop up your apples into bite size pieces. Approximately 1/2 inch in size.

2. Place apple pieces, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a large bowl and combine well.

3. Unroll first pie crust. Use the ring of a mason jar. Make sure you use a QUART ring, NOT pint. Her recipe did not specify this and I started using a pint ring and my circles were way too small for the muffin tins. I was little mad after spending all that time making perfect circles :/ Using a quart size is perfect!

4. Place the circles into each muffin slot. Pinch the edges on top creating a hammock in the muffin slot.

5. Place your apple mixture into the center of each crust. Fill until slightly mounded.

6. Take your butter pieces and add a piece on top of each pie.

7. Take whatever leftover dough, you may have and place strips on top of each pie.

8. Brush with melted butter.

9. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. You may give or take a few minutes depending on your oven!

I love how well these hold together! I was concerned they would not stay together well and crumble. You could make all varieties of pies using this basic recipe!  Enjoy!

What variety of pie would you make?

Paleo Crock Pot Chili

It’s that time of year for … Chili! I am not sure what the weather is like where you are, but it is getting really “chili” around here. 🙂

I decided to make a HUGE crock pot full of paleo chili for the week. It’s perfect for this cold weather and it also crosses another thing off of our 2013 Fall Bucket List!

I came across this awesome “recipe”. I LOVE how it uses pictures and it’s so colorful!

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You can follow this picture recipe exactly or you can do what I did … use it as a guide.

Paleo Crock Pot Chili

Ingredients

  1. Sweet onion, peeled & diced
  2. (2) Green bell peppers, diced
  3. Red bell pepper, diced
  4. Yellow bell pepper, diced
  5. (2) cups sliced mushrooms
  6. (2) Tablespoons coconut oil
  7. (1.5) lb sausage
  8. (1.5) lb ground turkey
  9. (1.5) lb ground beef
  10. Can crushed tomatoes
  11. Can diced tomatoes with garlic
  12. Can tomato paste
  13. 1/2 Tablespoon dried basil
  14. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  15. 2 teaspoons sea salt
  16. 1 teaspoon hot chili powder
  17. 1/2 Tablespoon smoked paprika

Directions

  • Wash and dice/slice all of your veggies. In a large pan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add vegetables, cover. Let cook until veggies are softened.

  • Dump veggies into the crock pot. 
  • Break up and cook sausage, ground turkey, and ground beef until cooked. Leaving a little pink is okay. You may need to do half, place into crock pot, then the other half and place into crock pot. It depends on how large your pan is.
  • Open and dump in your can of crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.
  • Stir well!

  • Add in all of your seasonings!
  • Stir well, again! Place lid on and let cook 4-6 hours. Our crock pot cooks quickly so it took about 5 hours on low.
  • Top it with fresh avocado!

 

Note: I WAS going to add in the sweet potatoes as shown on the picture above BUT I completely forgot 🙁 I think it would add a lot if you add them in an hour or so before you serve. Again, our crock pot cooks quickly, so I did not get a chance.

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite chili recipe?