Betty’s Vacation Musts

Whew! We spent last week on a four day camping excursion in a yurt. It was a lot of fun but it totally wore me out. Camping in a yurt is what my husband calls “camping light”. I say anything that doesn’t have an attached bathroom is roughing it.

I do love traveling! I’m a big planner. I spend a lot of time looking at Trip Advisor and various travel sights. Each year we go somewhere different and somewhere we’ve never been before. There are several experiences I add to my itinerary each year.

1. Outdoor Experiences We started our vacation by stopping at Providence Canyon. I’ve always heard it referred to as the Little Grand Canyon. It was so beautiful. I had to research it and I learned it happened as a result of bad farming practices. I feel a bit conflicted in my love!

2. Great Food I love eating local! We didn’t eat at a chain the entire trip. I started off with a huge plate of barbecue chicken. It was great and I ate way more than I should have.

3. Interesting Accommodations We traveled on to where we’d spend the rest of our trip. We landed in Pine Mountain, Ga which is located in the middle of nowhere. It was a cute little town with only one grocery store. It seemed everything closed pretty early too! We went to our yurt and my daughter was instantly excited. She loved it!

4. Days With Laid Back Fun We love to spend days being lazy explorers. We don’t stand in lines and we don’t have a huge agenda. We spent a day at Calloway Gardens which really fit the bill. My husband and my oldest rented a jonboat and spent the day fishing. My little ones
and myself explored. They both ran and played until my daughter swore she had broken her leg!

She hitched a ride on her brother’s stroller to ease the pain!

5. Kid Friendly Museums My husband heard that there was an infantry museum in nearby Columbus. My husband had to go see it. It was an unplanned addition to our trip, but I’d recommend it! It had lots of my littles to do. They were able to dress up as soldiers and play in a tank.



Princess inspired pizza

I try to get my kids involved in meal planning. My oldest is seven and he loves selecting items for our menu. He really loves asking for Mac and cheese! It has been his choice every week. We have tried several different recipes, but he always compares it to Cracker Barrel’s. I can’t make any that he feels can compare!

My daughter is a bit harder to convince. She isn’t a fan of most of my cookbooks. They just don’t appeal to a three year old princess! Princess?! Duh! That’s what I need to get her attention. I ordered this Disney Princess cookbook and she was instantly much more interested in cooking.

She looked through the book and picked Merida’s Bulls Eye pizza. It was a very basic recipe. My husband just adapted it. He made a basic pizza crust, put Ragu spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese on top. He then placed the pepperoni on top in a Bulls eye pattern. Voila!

It may not be much to look at, but it was easy and very tasty! My daughter gobbled it up. It was pizza truly fit for my princess.

Miss Fancy Pants

I’m on a mini hiatus because we’ve got some funky sickness at my house. It is circulating to each one of us! I am hopeful we will all be on the mend by the time Spring Break rolls around!

My daughter’s not sick so I took her for milkshakes! She insisted that I let her dress like Fancy Nancy! She loves those books! She even says Oh La La and Voila!

We had a book fair at my school this week. I resisted buying anything for her until today. I noticed they had the original Fancy Nancy book. I knew she’d love it! I can’t wait to give it to her later today!


It is kind of cool that she idolizes a book character! We were browsing Etsy the other day and we saw a doll that she wants. She told me she’d name it Marabelle after Nancy’s doll. I didn’t even know her doll’s name and I’ve read the books a bunch of times!


Do your kids have a favorite book character? Did you have one as a child?>

Disney on Ice

Woohoo! We survived Disney on Ice. My sweet girl had an amazing time seeing her princesses. We saw the Celebrations show in Macon, Ga. There were appearances by Tinkerbell, Tiana, Belle, and many more of her favorites. I knew not to expect to see Elsa and Anna, but she was a little bummed that Rapunzel wasn’t in the show. Tangled has quickly become her favorite movie.

If you have a young Disney fan in your life, I strongly recommend looking for a Disney on Ice show in your area. My daughter is in the height of her Disney phase. She’d love a trip to Disney world but we can’t afford a trip of that magnitude. I was feeling pretty down that she’d never get to see her beloved princesses. Ticket master seemed to realize my sadness and magically sent me an email about Disney on Ice!

I went prepared to spend some dough on merchandise. They did not disappoint. We also planned to eat some junky nachos and have a soda but the lines at intermission were out of control. My girl ended up with an Elsa doll for $35 and an adorable Tinkerbell cup for $12. We felt like we got out of there without breaking the bank. She was satisfied and is clutching her Elsa in her bed as I type.

I recommend:
1. Get dressed up! It’s fun! Most of the kiddos were outfitted. My sister and I also had on fun shirts.
2. Take some cash! Merchandise is everywhere. Your kid is going to want something.
3. Be prepared for local color ;). I saw and experienced some very interesting people.
4. Have fun!


Rave Review

I was all set to write a post bemoaning the evils I have experienced this last week. I was about to follow a path of negativity, but then I had an experience that made me feel a bit more positive. One purchase reminded me that some people do care.

My daughter and I will be heading to Disney on Ice this weekend. She desperately wants to go to Disney World to see her beloved princesses. We can’t do that on a teacher’s salary. I was really excited when Disney on Ice was headed to a nearby town. I wanted to make this an awesome experience for her. She may be well out of the princess stage before I get her to Disney World. I really wanted to get her a cute outfit to wear. I purchased this skirt.

She has a black sweatshirt and some cute tights. I wanted to buy her a cute accessory. I found a cute necklace on Etsy. It was perfect!


I ordered the necklace and waited. It seemed like it was taking a super long time. I checked the order and the necklace was still in Texas. I watched for a couple days and the tracking didn’t move. I contacted the USPS and they told me to contact the seller. I emailed her and she promptly replied. She and I chatted and she offered to make a new one. She saw a picture of my girl’s skirt and made her an awesome necklace. I got it today and it is perfect. She also threw in a bracelet. I’m singing her praises. She made me smile! She made my girl happy. If you are in the market for little girl’s jewelry or bows, check out HalfPintRepublic.

She went way above and beyond to help me put a smile on my girl’s face.

Has anything good happened to you?

Adult Time

I’m exhausted. The little peeps are germy and slightly disgusting. The baby has the croup and has been scaring me with his seal barking! It really is horrifying. I haven’t been able to sleep since he hasn’t been sleeping. He’s so adorable most days and eats like a pig. He’s been a grumpy mess and hasn’t eaten much in a few days. I’m sad.


I’m hopeful that he’ll be better by Saturday. My husband and I are dying for a night out. We haven’t been out together since our anniversary in September. It is not uncommon for us to go long periods of time without a date night. We usually just take our kids with us when we do something. I want to make a special effort to do something with my husband though. He’s finished his pre reqs for nursing school and will begin his full time program in May. Our time together will be limited after he starts school.

The voyage to a better Betty has to start somewhere. I made a commitment to spend quality time with my husband. It makes our relationship stronger and my mood better. I just don’t know what to do! We will go to dinner, of course. We are doing sushi since I have been craving it for a while. What should we do after? I hate going to the movies. I have issues focusing for longer than 30 minutes.

What do adults do on dates without kids? I’m at a loss! Maybe some of you savvy ladies can help. I don’t want to spend the night walking around Target aimlessly only going home hours before scheduled. Help!

Counting Down

I am ready for Spring! I’m in serious need of a vacation! The last week of March we’ll be headed to Pine Mountain, Ga for a lite rest and relaxation. It’ll be a new adventure because we are staying in a yurt. I’m calling this trip Camping Light or Intro to Camping.

My kids are very excited, but they don’t have a great concept of time. They ask how many more days over and over again. Last year I had the idea to do a vacation count down chain! Each day we cut off a link until we get to the last one. It says “here we go”. I didn’t have a kiddo old enough to write last year so I did the majority of the work. They loved it!


This year my oldest is seven. He selected the paper colors, cut out the linkd, and even wrote the numbers. All I had to do was staple the links together. I think he was feeling a bit nostalgic for fall with his color selections!


Every day my seven year old begs to cut a link off of the chain. It is a great visual for my three year old that doesn’t understand the concept of a month. We even hung it on the fire place so it is front and center.


I am ready for our outdoor adventure!

Are you counting down to anything?

Teaching Transportation


I think one of the coolest things about moving has been the time my husband gets to spend with our kids. Previously, he worked really long hours. The kids were in bed before came home. We never had a common day off to spend together as a family. He was off Tuesday and Wednesday and I was off Saturday and Sunday. It was hard. His schedule was a huge factor in our decision for him to pursue a different career. He wanted to be an active participant in their lives!

He has been taking a few prerequisite courses this year. Luckily they have all been online so he is able to home school our preschool daughter. They work on many interesting topics together. She is able to follow her own interests. She always has an interesting story about her day.

We bought our toddler son a John Deere video. We thought he’d love the big trucks and the cheesy songs. We were surprised when he shunned it and the big kids took an immediate interest. There is even a car called Auto that they talk about on repeat!


We want to expand on her love for this heavy machinery. I teach young kids about different careers paths. It is never too young to start. This early exploration allows them to test out many career roles. My daughter loves to pretend that she’s driving one on the dozers. Here is how we will expand on her interests.

1. I bought The Big Book Of Things That Go. I use this book with first graders, but it will be great for even younger kids. It is great for introducing careers like pilot, captain, and several careers in construction.


2. We have an old race car driver Halloween costume that they will repurpose so she can role play.

3. We encouraged her to play with a variety of cars. We talked about sounds that the different modes of transportation make. She had a blast making a make believe city with blocks!

Do you think early career exploration is important?

Dolls to Divas (So soon?!?!)

When do girls quit playing with dolls? Is it that childhood is ending sooner or has it always been like this?


My girl is three and loves painting her nails. She also loves playing in my makeup. I often wonder if I should say no. Am I causing her to grow up too fast?


I have a niece that is an adorable little girl. She is spunky and a free spirit. She’s also growing up. She is quickly approaching her eighth year. Just a few months ago she loved Frozen, dolls, and Hello Kitty.These types of interests I can understand. I see the appeal and even enjoy them myself. I even have a Hello Kitty top that I found at Goodwill. I’m an elementary counselor so I will rock it from time to time at work.

I saw some adorable Hello Kitty shoes on MyHabit the other day. I was so excited to get those shoes for my niece. My sister passed this info on to my sister in law. I was stunned at her reply! She said that my niece all of a sudden turned into a big girl and her interests had evolved!! Already?! Sheesh. She was just a baby five minutes ago. These new interests are harder for me.

Her mom said she like Toms, Matilda Jane, and wedge sandals! Woah, that sounds like tween territory to me. Scary. While I love these brands, I can’t afford Toms or Matilda Jane. I’m not sure I’d pick sandals that she’d like because I wince when I see a wedge. I’d want to purchase a some good insoles too.

So what does a aunt buy her evolving almost tween niece? I’ve found a few possibilities, but I’m not convinced on any of them. It is difficult trying to balance her desire to be an adult with the fact that she is still very much a little girl.

These Iscream pajama shorts are very cute. I won’t feel bad about the length of the shorts since she is only wearing them at home.


I know she says she’s over Frozen. I hear her. I also love her a lot because she is a precious friend to her little cousin. They remind me of Elsa and Anna. I think getting the girls matching bubblegum necklaces could be sweet. I love these found on Etsy.


I just don’t want a sad pretweenager on my hands. I know there is a huge tween market, but what do you do for this age group? I was thinking of books, but that is unfamiliar territory too.

I have been very sensitive about my kids growing up. I am proud of them and enjoy them as they grow. I am also sad that I don’t have an itty bitty anymore. I just want a little more time!

Help me! I need info on this age group and what they like!

I Try It So You Don’t Have To (Bummer edition)

This is the review of a product that I wanted my kids to love. I was in love with the idea. This is an awesome product that most kiddos would surely enjoy. Mine just didn’t seem to dig it! I am a little disappointed in my children! This activity should be fun. I was imagining that they would be blown away with this play tape. It seemed like such a cool idea. It is made in the USA which made me feel really good! It fosters imagination! It should also foster hours of imaginative play. Not in my house. Nope. It fostered all of about 15 minutes of bickering and complaining!

I found the play tape on Amazon. It was $9.99 for the roll. There were quite a few reviewers unhappy with the length. My kitchen is small so the roll was more than adequate.


The kids were very excited about the idea of the tape. They couldn’t wait to get it open! We used some street signs from Melissa and Doug to add to the excitement.


My King Kong baby and Godzilla cat kept knocking the signs over and frustrating the children. There was a whole bunch of shrieking at the destroyers.
I had to remove the baby.


They placed beautifully for about fifteen minutes!


It was short lived. I left the tape on the floor for many days and tried to encourage them to play in the kitchen! Normally they love to play in there while I am cooking. It was a place to be avoided at all costs!

I’m sad. I can’t figure out why they weren’t interested. Kids are weird!


Pros: cool idea, made in the USA, works great on tile, came up with no residue
Cons: did not hold their interest, some felt the roll was too short for the cost
The bottom line: I think this is cool concept that just didn’t work for my kids. My son is not into his cars recently. He’s an airplane man now.

Would you try it?