A Camping We Will Go- (hi ho, hi ho)

We went for a mini camping trip in Zion this last March, just a quick weekend trip. It was all too lovely and perfect. Jeff and I went up early to set up everybody's site on Friday because the army had half day (Arrested Development reference). We really just did it because no one wanted to set up a tent at night. That is the worst part of camping, tent pole meet my eye. No thanks.
Friday Jeff and I hit up Springdale for dinner after setting up camp. After dinner at the Pioneer Wagon (?) we strolled main street and went in all the gift shops. We are trying to send ourselves postcards from all our vacations with a few notes of what we did on the vacation. Postcards are much cheaper and easier to store then other chachkies. Once it got dark we headed back to camp and bleed our car battery dry watching old Buffy episodes. Having a mini date with the hubby on our mini camping trip was a nice surprise. Nobody else ended up showing up until wee hours of the night, which in camping terms is at like 10 at night.

The next morning we just chilled and eventually found our way to the Emerald Pools hike. (We originally planed to also do the Oak Creek trail as well but traded that hike for a nap instead.) Emerald Pools was such a great choice. The weather could not have been better and at the top of the three pools was a giant snow drift still melting away from winter. I've done this hike a number of times before, but this time was by far my favorite. Who would have known - go hiking in mid-March.

The hiking, lounging, and napping was wonderful, but the main event for me was the cooking. This was the first time in a long time that I had gone camping without any "real" adults. I usually let the "real" adults cook me up a bunch of good grub, or just go with a can of soup or something when I camp solo. Jeff's parents have been great at gifting us a bunch of camping gear every Christmas since we got married though, so we finally busted all of it out, the stoves, the tables, and the DUTCH OVEN!

I have to say that my first round of real camping cooking went swimmingly thanks to the Bame's. Jeffs dad provided me with a couple tried and true Dutch Oven recipies. Because I am so nice I'll share them here too!

We had a really great time. This mini camping trip was test run for hopefully more extensive camping trip to come. So much more relaxing then running all the weekend errands and cleaning the house. I will take this kind of weekend anytime!


Eggs (1.5 for each person)

2 cups of milk

1 package of bacon

1 package of sausage

2 medium bags of hashbrowns

cheese or salsa

Place liner in the dutch oven. Layer the bottom with bacon, then layer 1/2 the hashbrowns, sausages, and the rest of the bacon. Repeat layer (minus bacon). Poor eggs and milk mixture over the top. (Eggs, milk and salt and paper should be consistancy of srambled eggs.) Bake at 350 for an hour. Once done top with cheese or salsa or just each plain because it is so yummy!


1 Chicken breast a person

Sliced thin potatoes (as many as you want, never enough potatoes)

1pack of Stoffer Stuffing

2-3 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup



Line Dutch oven. Put a little oil on the bottom. Layer thinly sliced potatoes and chicken. Pour in 1/2 of the soup and sliced onions, repeat layers. 15 min before it's completed pour in Stoffer Stuffing mixture on the top. Bake at 350 for an hour. (Can use cheese soup or mushroom soup too).


2 Jars (3 Cans) of Pie Filling.

White Cake Mix

1 can soda (sprite)

seasoning mixture (cinnomin, nutmeg, sugar- to taste)

Put fruit mixture on the bottom of lined dutch oven. Sprinkle seasonings over fruit. In a bag, mix the cake with a can of soda. Pour the cake mixture over the fruit and bake- you guessed it- an hour at 350. YUM!


The Office- For Reals This Time

I did it for reals. We started to re-do the office and we pretty much have the basics down. This is what the office looked like last time I dared to snap a photo:

It was a little more messy than normal because this was during my first painting attempt. It actually got worse (if that is possible) when the roommates stuff moved in, so the office was filled with some of hers and some of ours. This room was just not working in anyway. The old school desk I bought for $2 from an old school about to be torn down in UT, my old dressers from Target that were falling apart, and a broken futon, does not the best office make. It was embarrassing.

After some paint and elbow grease, now our office looks like this!

Or at least this what it looked like the night I came home to see Jeff made the desk, but- MUCH better! We bought these cabinets from Ikea last July and just have not had the space to put them up, since the roomies and our stuff was so packed in that room. I bought them in a moment of insanity when I thought we were rolling in the dough, they are $120 each. That might not seem like much to other folks but that is just how cheap I am. If I were more creative I could have bought some broken shelves from Craigslist and painted them, but I thought these babies were worth the cost . . and I was insane.

I picked these beauties out specifically because of how deep they are, a little over 17 inches. I knew that would be the perfect depth to store our vinyl records. Most standard shelves are just too shallow. Plus with two, we have one for him and one for me. This way I wont go nuts if his shelves get too messy, I'll never even have to see them. (Don't his V-day comic book holders look so cute in there!)

Jeff made our desk from a hollow core door we bought at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for just $10 bucks. I was actually dreaming about how we could make a desk one night and told him how I thought it would work that next morning. That night I came home and he had it ALL done. What a wonderful husband I have!

Look at how cute he is, acting like he didn't just rock my world by making me a little desk. (Pay no attention to our messy garage, a project for another day.)

See how the inside of the door is hollow. All we had to do was make a long 'L' bracket from two 1x2 planks. The one inch side (with a little shaving and sanding, maybe even some cutting) can fit inside the hollow part of the door and secured with glue and nails (underneath, so they wont show). The other part of the 'L' bracket is then used to secure the desk to the wall.

Making the desk ourselves let us customize the width and length, and wouldn't you know it, we chose the same width as the Ikea Shelves and the perfect length to fit in between them. This makes our whole desk and storage area take up just over a foot of wall space along one side of the room. Nice! We have some of the hollow core door left over so we are thinking of making a couple floating display shelves for the office as well. There are a lot of different tutorials on how to make desks, shelves and whatnot online. You can get a ton of DIY tips and hints by just Googling it. Try it, it's fun. Or you can dream about how to do it, either or.

Of course I can't forget the paint. This is the bugger that held up the process for months and months. Thanks to a couple of my favorite bloggers, I found the perfect paint color- BM's Moonshine. This is a true gray, it didn't pull green, or blue, or purple. I love it! I had it color matched to Valspar's no VOC paint so it didn't even smell. Jeff was smart enough to think to color match the Ikea shelves too, so that our desk would match perfectly and look more like a built in shelving system. That really was the look we were going for.

Of course the office isn't DONE, but I think it is finally well on it's way. We still have the broken futon (we probably will until we win the lottery or something), and I still need to hang art and accessorize, but the base is done and NOW the fun part can begin!