Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Five

Friday could not come fast enough this week. Work has been kicking my butt and it's not about to slow down, but I've got a 3 day weekend coming up and I'm going to saver every minute of it. 

Let's start with the reason for my 3 day weekend-the Solar Eclipse. I happen to live right in the path of totality so it's a pretty big thing around here. Our city's expecting 400,000+ extra visitors so I'm sure it will be a mad house. Although school is in session, kids are excused if they wish to stay home so we're going to view the event as a family. And hopefully not burn our retinas off since I have yet to get glasses and everywhere is sold out.

I painted this periwinkle colors on my nails after seeing it on several other people. I love it on others but not sure how I feel about it for me???

Our schools started back this week and I can't believe I have a third grader. Especially since I look so young :) He has changed so much in one year and how cute is his little squint in the bright morning.

First day of 2nd grade.

Anyone else completely sick of every single thing in their closet? I'm dreaming of a whole new wardrobe and all the fall pieces. I'll also take this girls legs.

With the weekend coming up make sure you check out my 5 Must Watch Documentaries on Netflix. They are so good y'all.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Linking up with AmandaLiz, and Momfessionals

Thursday, August 17, 2017

5 Must Watch Documentaries on Netflix

It's no secret that we all love a good Netflix series. There's nothing like hitting play and the next thing you know you're 12 episodes in, an entire day has passed, and all animals and children have been left to fend for themselves. 

As much as I love a good fiction plot line, there's something gripping about watching a show based on someone's real life. Netflix is not short on documentary choices, but I've done the work for you and found the 5 that you need to watch. And then we can chat about it. Because trust me, you'll need someone to talk you after you see them. And unlike multiple season series, these documentaries are all the length of a typical movie except one of them, but trust me it's worth it.

//The Witness//
38 year old Kitty Genovese is stabbed to death in New York City while several people supposedly watched it happen and did nothing to help her. Her brother searches for answers and why, in a city full of people, no one would do the right thing.

//Rich Hill//
Rich Hill is a small town in Missouri that on the outside looks like any other town. But for 3 boys living in Rich Hill life is anything but normal. This documentary will have you asking yourself, is it possible to succeeded when it seems like the cards are stacked against you? You may need to grab some tissues for the end.

//The Keepers//
The longest of all the documentaries at 7 episodes, The Keepers will shock and horrify you until the very last one. When nun Sister Cathy Cesnik's murder remains unsolved after 40+ years, two of her former students spearhead a search to find out who killed her. What they uncover goes far beyond Cathy's murder into a sick world of abuse, cover ups, and the Catholic church. 

From the beginning you'll find yourself saying, wwhhhaaatt? Imposter tells the story of how one man tricks the world into believing he's a missing American boy, including the boy's family. You'll discover how he did it, why he did it, and find yourself asking what happened to the real missing boy.

//The Overnighters//
A small town in North Dakota finds itself flooded with people as jobs in the oil fields boom. As workers travel to the area, they find themselves without a place to stay. A local church pastor decides to open his doors and provide shelter to the homeless men. But not everyone in the town is as willing to help and when a local paper runs a story about one of the men, the pastor is forced to make choice. Stick with this one, because the last 5 minutes will shock you. 

Linking up with Annie for Thoughts on Thursday.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Summer Vacation in Colorado {Part 3}

We spent our last full day in Colorado at The Royal Gorge and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. Like most of the things we did,  it was a little over an hour drive from our hotel. Since our flight left the next morning from Denver, we checked out of our hotel first and then drove from The Royal Gorge to Denver that afternoon. The only bummer was we had to drive back through Colorado Springs on our way which made for a long drive.

When we arrived we headed to the gondolas which would take us across the gorge. The ride is included in your ticket and they recommend taking it from the north side to the south side so your walk through the park is more downhill. 

The Arkansas River. We saw rafters on it when crossing the bridge.

Once we made it to the other side we grabbed some BBQ for lunch and then let the kids run around on the coolest playground.

They also had a merry-go-round with the best views.

After some obligatory Dip'n'Dots, it was time to cross the bridge. Doesn't Jack look thrilled to be having his picture taken :)

Each state's flag was represented on the bridge.

After a long drive to Denver we checked into our hotel and then to dinner at Casa Bonita. I remember visiting this place with my parents on vacation when I was little and it was funny to see it now though the eyes of an adult. You definitely don't go here for the 5 star cuisine, but the boys loved the cliff divers and scary cave and I loved the nostalgia of it all.

One more dip at the hotel pool before going to bed.

Our flight left at 10:00 the next morning and although we were sad for our vacation to end we were happy to be heading home. Even the Superheros.

Linking up with Biana for Weekending
Saturday, August 12, 2017

Summer Vacation in Colorado {Part 2}

With fingers crossed that the rain would hold off, we got up, had breakfast, and made the drive up Pike's Peak. But not before pictures of the boys in their matching shirts. I can't help myself. 

How beautiful was this view from our hotel?!

Making our way to the top. We had originally thought we would take the railway, but by the time I thought to buy tickets they were sold out. I'm honestly so glad we didn't end up taking the tram because we were able to stay at the top as long as we wanted and make stops on the way down to enjoy the scenery.

Ranger Station 1/2 way up the park. We stopped here on the way down for lunch.

I had promised Jack we'd see snow so I'm so glad there was still a tiny bit left. We found a place to pull over so he could get out and touch it and he was beyond thrilled.

As we got closer to the top it became more and more foggy which might have been for the best since my husband is afraid of heights and the one responsible for getting us safely up the mountain.

It was completely foggy once we reached the Summit and cold. 40 degrees! We headed inside to warm up and try the famous donuts everyone told us about.

While J and Ben did some more exploring outside, Jack was content waiting for them in the warm car with his cotton candy. Which he demolished before they returned.

By the time we started making our way down the clouds the fog had cleared and we had the most gorgeous views. We pulled over and "hiked" up a little hill and let the kids run around. Climbing up a hill at 14,000 ain't no joke when you're from Missouri. There's was one point where J and I thought we might literally die.

It was totally worth it though.

True to my word I let the kids touch the snow. But not before trying to find a clean spot :)

Our plan to visit 7 Falls fell through when severe thunderstorms rolled in so we headed back to the arcade where Ben and I won 1,000 tickets on the Wheel of Fortune game with the word Ladybug.

Make sure to head here if you missed Part 1.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Copycat California Pizza Kitchen Thai Chicken Pizza

You can't go wrong with anything you order at California Pizza Kitchen but I always seem to come back to their Thai Chicken Pizza. It's probably best that I don't live near a CPK or I'd be ordering it way too often, but that doesn't stop me from learning how to make it myself. 
For the crust I followed this recipe, but use whatever recipe you prefer or make it really simple and use store bought dough. Once you have the crust, you'll need the following ingredients for the sauce and toppings.

What You'll Need:
Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons water

2 chicken breasts cut into thin strips
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 green onions sliced
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/3 cup shredded carrots
fresh chopped cilantro

What To Do:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute then remove and set aside. 
2. In a non-stick pan, cook chicken until done. Place chicken in a bowl and pour half of the sauce mixture over chicken and toss. 
3. Divide dough in half and roll out onto 2 baking sheets or pizza stones. 
4. Place sauce on top of dough and top with thin layer of mozzarella cheese.
5. Place chicken on top of cheese then top with carrots, sprouts, and green onions.
6. Top with remaining cheese and bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Summer Vacation in Colorado {Part 1}

Last week we headed out west to the beautiful mountains of Colorado. To make the most of our time we decided to fly from Kansas City which got us to Denver in a little over an hour verses a 10 hour car ride. To quote Sweet Brown, ain't nobody got time for that.

After picking up our rental car we made the hour drive from Denver to Colorado Springs. I'm almost embarrassed by the number of mountain photos I took. Almost. It rained on and off and that combined with rush hour traffic didn't help the circus brewing in the backseat. Nothing a little stop at Chilli's couldn't fix. My "ONLY EAT AT LOCAL PLACES ON VACATION!" heart almost had a heart attack, but it's fast and consistent something that's important when you have two hangry boys about to meltdown.
With full bellies we made it to our hotel in Colorado Springs. I know I've talked about this hotel chain before, but we stayed at the Drury Inn & Suites and it was just what we were hoping for. The location was perfect, we had a great view of the mountains, and adults get 3 free bar drinks each night. Yes please! Not to mention, breakfast, snacks, and two pools which the kids hopped into immediately upon arrival.

We woke up the next morning to lots of fog and clouds so we decided to do Pike's Peak another day and head to the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine. Based on the raving Trip Advisor reviews I knew we needed to check this place out and it far surpassed my expectations. 

The mine is about an hour outside of Colorado Springs and while you wait for your tour to start, you can explore the outside of the old mine and take in the beautiful scenery.

After getting our hard hats on, we boarded the elevator where we traveled 1,000 feet underground to the mine.

We were packed in there so tight but thankfully the ride down is only a few minutes.

Not only did they take us through the mine, but they demonstrated how miner's used to dig for gold and how they do it now. These ladders and scaffolding show how miner's climbed to reach the gold. 

Bells were used by the miners to communicate to those up top. Despite today's technology, they still use the bell system to signal when to bring the elevator down and up and how fast to do it.

Mollie Kathleen is located in Cripple Creek and from the mine we could look down on the whole town. We were so excited to visit this quaint little mountain town only to find out it was literally 98% casinos. We couldn't even find anywhere to eat that wasn't in a casino. Talk about disappointing. At least it looked pretty from a distance. 

On the drive back to Colorado Springs we stopped in Manitou Springs and had a late lunch at Crystal Park Cantina where J and I both agree we had some of the best Mexican food of our lives. I'm telling you, if you're not using Trip Advisor for reviews you're missing out. It rarely steers us wrong and there's no way we would have found such authentic Mexican food in the middle of the mountains without it.

With rain in the forecast for the rest of the day we hit up some games at a local arcade and the boys swam their hearts out while J and I sipped our drinks by the pool :)

Part 2 coming up tomorrow!

Linking up with Biana for Weekending