Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Adventure Fuel

Let's talk about the most important part of any adventure, the food!  I had some darn good meals on our recent trip to Virginia and it's only fair that I share, so you can have a taste too.  Now here's the thing, we've been trying to really get our eating habits back to a healthy spot and Donnie and I are even planning to do Whole30 soon, but most of my meals on this trip were not so healthy and definitely not Whole30 approved.  I have this thing for southern food- grits, fried catfish, collard greens, fritters. You get the idea.  I'd like to say the amount of walking and swimming we did on this long weekend balanced out the poor food choices, but I really can't be sure that's true.  I'm above the Mason-Dixon line now, though, so I'm back into healthy mode!  I'm sure by now you're hoping I shut up and just get on with it, so I'll do just that!
We loved Southern Kitchen so much that we ate there twice.  It has this great 50s style decor and you immediately feel at home there.  I'm sure it would be a place we'd frequent, if we were locals.  My friends and I always joke about my love for "gross meats", so I may have been extra excited to see fried chicken livers on the menu.  They were perfect!  We finished our dinner there with huge pieces of homemade meringue pies and returned for an equally delicious breakfast on our way out of town.
I have this postcard of the giant Johnny Appleseed that I think an aunt gave me as a child, so I was pretty excited to see that Johnny Appleseed Restaurant was super close to our hotel and that the statue is still there.  The statue tells a little story and talks about the restaurants apple fritters, if you press a nearby button.  The boys loved it!  Our waitress greeted us with some of those apple fritters, warm and covered in powdered sugar.  Obviously they were amazing!  The wall between the two dining rooms was made from old orchard crates from the area.  The fritters alone are worth the visit, but the rest of our food was pretty darn good too!

Also worth mentioning are Granny's Pancake Cottage and Heartpine Cafe, located at Luray Caverns. Granny's Pancake Cottage had way more than pancakes and was a great stop for lunch.  We may have made our choice solely based on its cute name, but it was a good choice!  The Heartpine Cafe is in an old barn on the grounds of the Luray Valley Museum.  It's a little sandwich shop with wine tasting upstairs and lovely outdoor seating under a vine-covered pergola.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Musical Monday

I've been listening to a lot of the indie pop station on Pandora lately and when this song came on, it was kind of love at first listen.  It's such an upbeat happy song and I think we can all use that on a Monday morning!

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Just a quick heads up to let everyone know that I will be listing a new batch of doll faces on Instagram tonight. My shop account is @thethriftydoll. I will move leftovers from tonight's sale to my shop later this week. Thanks!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

American Celebration On Parade

If you haven't read yesterday's post, you may want to start there.  This is sort of a continuation of that post on Shenandoah Caverns.  I've never been to any major parades and sure I've seen them on TV, but I don't think I really grasped the size of parade floats.  They were all so grand and magnificent!  
Look how happy that clown is for us to be visiting!  It's a nice little walk from the caverns to the museum, complete with an amazing view.
Just as with the store displays, many of these floats are animated.  The bears on this float moved about and were really cute.
Many of the floats and displays in the museum were used during presidential inaugurations, so there was a really great patriotic theme throughout much of the building.
I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite, but these swans were so amazing and the turtles were covered with various pine cone pieces.  I can only imagine the amount of work that went into these!
My photos don't even begin to do this attraction justice.  I believe the words, "Is this what heaven looks like?" were muttered upon entering.
So last, but not least, is The Yellow Barn where you can taste wine, buy local items, and see even more amazing displays and antiques.  I highly recommend the Shenandoah Brand apple candy with pecans and the little fried hand pies kept by the cash register!  We bought two bottles of wine too, but we haven't had a chance to try them yet.  I'm sure they're delicious!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Shenandoah Caverns

We're always looking for fun things to do and new places to explore.  The boys are at an age where they get pretty excited about adventures, so we try to have them often.  Our most recent adventure was a trip down Route 11 to Virginia, with our first stop being Shenadoah Caverns.   What a seriously fun stop!  One of the first things you'll notice, as if it's welcoming you to the property, is a giant statue of a Cootie from the old children's game.  The entrance to the caverns is inside a building that is also home to a gift shop, a cafe, and Main Street of Yesteryear, a really great collection of antique window displays from department stores.  In addition to those attractions, there is American Celebration on Parade, a great museum of parade floats, and The Yellow Barn, a big building that is sort of a combination of shops and displays.  I'll get to those in a later post!
This wasn't the only large statue on the grounds.  There was a dinosaur, a clown, and a few others scattered about.  The property is lovely and there are areas to have picnics.
These old displays are absolutely amazing!  Most were animated.  My favorite was the holiday scene on the bottom left.  I wish I had gotten more photos of it, but the lighting and the fact that the displays are behind glass make it difficult to get good pics.
The bears are the first large display you come to and definitely the largest!  Of course I managed to get photos of cute bunnies.  I love the expressions on the top bunnies' faces!
I love the cavern's little elf mascots!  The sign on the left is above the stairs leading down to the cavern.  We didn't have to use the stairs, though, because Shenandoah Caverns is the only caverns in the state that have elevator service!
I had no idea it was illegal to touch the rock formations, but knowing it was forbidden made it extra hard not to touch anything!  See the cool rock formation in the lower right photo?  They call that bacon and I think you can see why!

If you ever get in the area of Shenandoah Caverns, you need to make sure you set aside time to visit! It's totally affordable and full of things to see.  If this post doesn't convince you, check back tomorrow.  The parade floats are a must see!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hello there!!

It seems like forever since I've updated this sad old blog, but it's really been less than a month.  This summer is off to a great start, but it's been a busy start as well.  We've had a mini-vacation, lots of local adventures, two birthdays, and an anniversary.  I have lots to share and talk about.  I always have lots to talk about, though, don't I?  If I'm lucky, some of my readers have even stuck around during my silence.  Is anyone still out there?!  If so, I hope your summer is also off to a great start!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

One Last Celebration

Last Saturday I had my final celebration for my 35th birthday, thanks to my best pal, Heidi.  When I couldn't actually decide what I wanted to do for my birthday this year, she agreed to throw me a little party.  I don't think anyone's thrown me a party since I was a child, but Heidi is extra sweet and she's a great hostess.  I loved that it was an excuse to get all dolled up, eat lots of yummy food, and hang out with some of my very best friends.  It was like crafternoon without a craft and all of the gifts were for me!
I requested party foods, so Heidi had a great spread of snacks and dips.  She even went as far as recreating one of my favorite cocktails, huckleberry lemonade!
Our sweet friend, Page, made that amazing cake.  It's her delicious yellow cake with an old fashioned sour cream icing and lots of shredded coconut.  I wish I had some right now!  I may do a separate post with my gifts.  I was absolutely spoiled by my gals!  Now that I think about it, I was absolutely spoiled all around for this birthday.  I had a full week of celebrating that included lots of delicious meals, tons of quality time alone and with family, and the cutest new dress from my sweet dad.  My 35th year is off to a great start!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Wolfgang Candy

We headed to York, PA for my birthday to check out Wolfgang Candy.  If you grew up in this area, chances are you've done at least one school fundraiser that involved selling Wolfgang Candy.  I had no idea until recently that they are a somewhat local company.  They've been making candy, primarily chocolates, since the 1920s, and I think their candy definitely provides a lot of people with a serious sense of nostalgia.  There wasn't a factory tour for us to take, but there was a great candy shop and museum, both housed in a building that looks straight out of Germany.  The shop was full of chocolates in every shape imaginable and you could see many of the molds in the museum.  If you're ever in the York area, it's definitely worth a visit!  

Monday, June 1, 2015

Musical Monday

I like Miley Cyrus.  It feels good admitting that.  I know she makes an ass of herself sometimes, but so does every other twenty-two year old.  There just isn't a constant barrage of cameras to catch everyone else's dumb behavior.  Put that aside, though, and what you have is a really compassionate young lady with one hell of a voice, a voice she not only uses to speak out for those who aren't usually heard, but also a voice that sounds pretty darn amazing.  I remember finding her Backyard Sessions last year and being really impressed, but this year's blew me away.  She gets some help from two other bad ass women, Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! and Joan Jett, and covers everyone from Dido to Paul Simon.  

These are two of my favorite videos from the sessions.  You can check out the rest of them here. When you're finished listening and hopefully being as impressed as I was, check out the non profit Miley recently started, The Happy Hippie Foundation.