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Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 | 2 comments

Belgium’s Crazy Bicycle Museum

Belgium’s Crazy Bicycle Museum

Have you ever seen a bike that also doubles as a drum set? Or a bike so tall you need a ladder to climb on? During my recent bicycle vacation to Belgium, my tour guide Evan from Beercycling brought us to this wonderful and whimsical place, The Crazy Bicycle Museum, also known in Flemish as Gekke Fietsen Museum. We found the wackiest, weirdest and most wonderful bikes. Best of all they were all built by hand using parts salvaged from the trash. The owner, Wim, repurposes bikes he collects during the annual day when people put their old bikes on the street for trash collection. Wim has been collecting and repurposing bikes since he was ten years old. He was inspired by bikes he saw at a theme park as a young boy. Wim gets most of his ideas from the Internet and events like Tour De Fat. He made this drum set from old bikes. The bicycle/drum set is rideable. There’s the kissing bike… And so many more…...

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Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 | 2 comments

Campfire Donuts

Campfire Donuts

On a recent family camping trip to Shenandoah National Park we discovered the tastiest breakfast that the entire family loved — donuts! My husband found the recipe while searching online for camping breakfast ideas. The recipe was simple: 1 can of buttermilk biscuits, cane sugar, cinnamon, and vegetable oil. This is my son’s reaction, ” You are making donuts? Ooooooooo! My daughter prepped the biscuits by piercing the center of each with the oil cap. Then, we fried up some bacon and used the back grease plus some extra vegetable oil for the donuts. After my husband got the oil nice and hot, we plopped these babies into the pan. There were eight in total, so we had to do two batches. When they looked a little brown around the edges, we flipped them with tongs. We even made one with berries that we picked from the meadow the previous day. After both sides were nicely browned we let them cool for a minute. Then we placed them in...

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Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 | 1 comment

Feeling Peachy: 7 Ways to Enjoy Summer Fruit

Feeling Peachy: 7 Ways to Enjoy Summer Fruit

As my family and I left Shenandoah National Park after a weekend camping trip, we stopped at the first farm we saw with a sign “peaches for sale.” At only $12 for half a bushel, that gave us loads of peaches! What can you do with peaches besides the obvious, eat them deliciously ripe? First I made peach pecan bourbon. My husband made it last summer and it was sublime! I followed the instructions on backdownsouth.com It just takes three ingredients: peaches, pecans and bourbon. After the peaches, pecans and bourbon sat together for a little over a week, we poured the bourbon back into its original bottle. Then, we promptly enjoyed a glass together on the rocks. Cheers! Nice and smooth, it’s delicious just on the rocks and you can really taste the peaches! Don’t get me wrong, you can taste the bourbon too, so it’s great for sipping. You can’t mess this up. Last year, we made it with Buffalo Trace bourbon. My husband being more of...

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Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 | 3 comments

From Cinder Blocks to Mosaic Tile Planters

From Cinder Blocks to Mosaic Tile Planters

We have big plans this summer to add a mosaic to some plain cinder block steps in our backyard. Before we embark on that project, my kids and I practiced by sprucing up some cinder block planters. I headed to Restore to buy tile. They did not have colorful tile in stock, but in the dishware section, I found several plates, a vase and a platter to smash for the project. My kids, Miles and Vivien, were more than eager to get started. Vivien chose a green vase, a blue plate, and a white tile for the color scheme. We started by cleaning off the cinder blocks. Then, Miles smashed the blue plate with a mallet. The smashing of the plate made a mess. We decided to wear protective goggles and smash the next object inside a paper bag. This worked perfectly, no mess and much safer. Next up, we arranged and secured the pieces with liquid nails (from Home Depot for a little over $2). When they were done...

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Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 | 0 comments

Lovely Handmade Food Labels

Lovely Handmade Food Labels

Whether you are canning for a local food swap or just preserving some of summer’s finest fruits and vegetables, we love to see the various ways people package and label their homemade foods. A typewriter makes great labels. By reusing an old grocery bag, I cut out brown rectangles for our labels here. Then I used black ink and a Chinese paintbrush to write “oregano.” I googled the Chinese word for oregano and added it to make the label more interesting. Mason jars are easy to label. You can simply find a bright piece of paper then screw the top of the jar over it. A festive cupcake liner always makes a lovely label and fits perfectly over a mason jar. Or find a nice sticker to fit your mason jars and handwrite your label. Having your own stamp can make labeling easy too. Labeling your homemade food items can be as simple or elaborate as you choose it to be. And speaking of labels, we’re hosting our next...

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