Our 1st Mom & Daughter Road Trip

Untitled design-4This past weekend we found our selves on a spur of the moment road trip to Mobile, AL. My best friend from college’s father had passed away and I made the drive to spend time with her and her family. Trevor had to work, so my daughter and I loaded up and we headed out Friday morning (yes, on the 4th of July. Love and friendship know no holiday) at 4:45 a.m. and headed for Mobile. We arrived around 10 a.m., stayed all weekend, and headed home Sunday morning around 11 a.m. It was good to see her and a family that I love dearly, but I truly hated the circumstances. Her entire family, even relatives I had never met before, made my daughter and I perfectly at home. The first night we stayed with her aunt and uncle because they had a daughter the same age as mine. Then the second night we stayed at my friends to get a full nights rest before driving back. We just hung out with the family and went with their queues on the comfort and healing process. I am truly thankful I was able to be there for her! Saturday there were a few hours when the family just needed to take care of some things, so my daughter and I made the 30 minute drive over to Dauphin Island and got in some much needed Mom and Daughter time. It was definitely not what we had foreseen for our holiday weekend, but with the given circumstances I would not have wanted to spend it any other way.

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4:45 a.m. Friday getting ready to leave the driveway.

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Excited that we get to spend a little quality time together on our first road trip!

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FINALLY went back to sleep. She stayed awake from the time we got in the car until almost Montgomery!!

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She was awake by the time we got to Mobile, and was excited about the bridges. πŸ™‚

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She finally got to meet my best friend’s “little sister”. She enjoyed their entire family! She now has a pepaw and second mimi and a few more aunts and uncles πŸ˜‰

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My best friend’s younger cousins. She said they were her best friends.

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We were still able to celebrate a little with her family.(Check out those shoes. We can travel 5.5 hours from home and my child will still manage to find the dress up diva shoes to play in.)

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Saturday we did give them a little time to take care of things and headed over to Dauphin Island. She LOVES the ocean and beach. I also think I found the spot for our family vacation next summer! I had never been either.

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Sand, sun, ocean, and cheetos. What more could a girl need? πŸ˜‰

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Of course we went hunting for sea shells, too.

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She has got this figured out!!

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We stopped in Prattville for gas and lunch on our way home Sunday. She proceeded to roll her window down and let me know she likes for the wind to blow in her hair. Ha! (I locked the windows after that πŸ˜‰ )

 

I hope you spent your holiday weekend with your loved ones and had a great time!

 

Things to Do North Alabama

Things to Do Thursday

It is Thursday and the weekend is in sight! Just hang in there. πŸ˜‰ As you are looking forward to the weekend and the rest of summer, check out the list I have compiled below that includes many things to do across North and Central Alabama! I see day trip plans in our future!!

Things to Do – North Alabama!

AL Constitution Village – Huntsville, AL
Alabama Center of Military History & Veterans Memorial Museum – Huntsville, AL
Alabama Music Hall of Fame – Muscle Shoals, AL
Ave Maria Grotto – Cullman, AL
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, Birmingham, AL
Birmingham Zoo – Birmingham, AL
Blount County Covered Bridges – Blount County, AL
Carnegie Visual Arts Center – Decatur, AL
Cathedral Caverns – Woodville, AL
Cook’s Natural Science Museum – Decatur, AL (Check out our trip here.)
Coondog Cemetery – Tuscumbia, AL
Desoto Caverns – Childersburg, AL
Dismals Canyon – Phil Campbell, AL
Early Works Museum – Huntsville, AL
Guntersville Museum – Guntersville, AL
Hartselle Depot Days (September) – Hartselle, AL
Helen Keller Birth Place – Tuscumbia, AL
Historic Huntsville Depot – Huntsville, AL
Jesse Owens Museum – Oakville, AL
LaGrange College Site – Leighton, AL
Little River Canyon – Mentone, AL
Lookout Mountain – Fort Payne, AL
McWane Science Center – Birmingham, AL
Mentone Wedding Chapel – Mentone, AL
Mule Day (September) – Winfield, AL
Noccalula Falls Park – Gadsden, AL
North Alabama Agriplex – Cullman, AL
Oakville Indian Mounds – Oakville, AL
Pickwick Belle – Decatur, AL
Pond Spring (Gen. Joe Wheeler Home) – Courtland, AL
Rattle Snake Saloon and 7 Springs Lodge – Tuscumbia, AL
Rickwood Caverns – Warrior, AL
Ruffner Mountain – Birmingham, AL
Sci-Quest – Hunstville, AL
Splash Adventure Water Park – Bessemer, AL
Stevenson RR Depot Museum – Stevenson, AL
Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention (October) – Athens, AL

U.S. Space & Rocket Center – Huntsville, AL (Check out our recent visit with Girls Scouts here.)
Watermelon Festival (August) – Russelville, AL

Have you ever visited any of these?? Have some suggestions that I can add to the list?

Share them below!

I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday weekend!

Southern Mom Life Weekly Graphics

Happy Friday, everyone!!

I am making a few changes to my posts!! I have decided to post Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday of each week. Also, to keep me organized I am going to post about the same topics on each day. Each topic also now has a graphic that will be included at the beginning of each post. Look for them starting next week!!

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Things to Do Thursday

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Look for an upcoming post on the website I used to create these graphics!!

 

Southern Mom Life’s {Easy} Homemade Chicken Salad

 

We love chicken salad around our house. There are a few restaurants where I LOVE to pick it up for lunch, but we like to throw some together at home for quick sandwiches every now and then. We have done a homemade recipe where we boiled our chicken; however, when we decide last minute or find ourselves in a time crunch, it is great to have some cooked chicken on hand. (Explains why this recipe is called Easy Homemade Chicken Salad.)

****SIDE NOTE: I noticed when putting this post together that we buy a lot of Wal-Mart’s brand “Great Value”. That is probably because I am such a cheap-o when it comes to grocery shopping. Groceries are so expensive, you almost have to be! You will notice almost everything in this recipe is Great Value brand, ha! Maybe I should have named it “frugal and easy.” πŸ˜‰

 

INGREDIENTS:

  1. (2) Cans of cooked chicken breast (I usually buy sodium free as well)
  2. Mayonnaise
  3. Mustard
  4. Pickles
  5. (1) Celery stalk
  6. (3) Boiled Eggs (We used fresh farm eggs from my Mom’s house)
  7. Freshly sliced tomato (For adding to the sandwiches πŸ™‚ )

 

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THE STEPS:

Chicken Salad 1

Dump the chicken, chopped celery, and chopped pickles into the bowl and add a little mustard.

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Mix it all up. And if you prefer it like I do, “chop” the chicken while you’re at it.

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Next, add your mayo. I apologize, I do not have a measurement. Our kitchen is more of a measure-by-taste kind of kitchen for some things. πŸ˜‰

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By now your boiled eggs should be cool, so chop them up and blend them in with a spoon. This should help absorb some of the creaminess. Also, if it is still too sweet… try adding a little extra mustard. If it is somehow not sweet enough, my mom has added less than a teaspoon of sugar to hers before.

This usually makes enough for 5 or 6 sandwiches! Definitely enough for a summer weekend lunch plus leftovers for Monday at work. I love easy and light recipes during summer when it is so hot and humid!

Color Scheming for Photos

Hello Monday!!

I have recently found myself trying to plan a lot of picture outfits and wardrobes. I hate when everything is veryΒ  matchy-matching, and finally heard the perfect way to explain it a while back – Make sure you coordinate, not necessarily match. I thought, yes! That’s what I’ve been trying to say. Haha!

If you are like me, though, and find yourself not being a fashion guru or natural, you still need a little help every now and then. I found this graphic below and it is perfect to give an idea and assist when picking out clothes for a photo session. Just because you wear pink, does not mean he, she, the kids necessarily have to wear pink, too! Get that 1990s family portrait thinking out of your head! πŸ˜‰

I appreciated having this graphic so much lately that I wanted to share it with you! Save it to your computer or phone and just pull it up next time.

Have a great week!!

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Easy Summer Toddler Crafts

This summer I have vowed will be different than last summer. Last year I was completing an internship and getting ready to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree during the summer semester. I was zero fun. I don’t even remember having any fun! I WAS CRAZY. This summer, I have already planned so many things to do with my daughter and since she loves crafts, of course they were a big part of the planning!

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This turtle inspired us to make one of our own. We took a paper plate and she went to town painting it green. It was total “freedom of expression.” I made the spots for the shell, his “feet” as we called them, and his head out of black construction paper. Find the eyes in any craft section. Our turtle’s spots don’t look so amazingly organized. A three year old tends to see symmetry and art in a completely different light πŸ˜‰

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This fish and the next photo are going to be our upcoming crafts. How hard can this one be? Cut the triangle for the mouth, then go back with scissors that cut shapes to create his teeth. I believe I’ll let my daughter paint it however she wants. Maybe I’ll find the Rainbow Fish book to go along with it. He might come out like a rainbow as well!!

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I love this! I think we can get as creative or simple with this as we want. I think in the picture they are using small paper bowls, but we’ll probably stick with the plate. (Just because I already have a stack of them.) I have lots of left over crafting ribbon and tulle that we can use to create our jellyfish. I can’t wait to make both of these crafts soon!!

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We have not attempted this project yet, but surely it cannot be that difficult? Paper plate, hole punch, yarn, beads, feathers and voila! I’m like a man when it comes to following directions. I didn’t even search out instructions for this idea… I just know if I have the materials I can make it work πŸ˜‰

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I guess this one could be a little more difficult. But only because of getting the fish drawn and cut out. Ha! Let your child paint the plate blue while you man the fish project. Create the fish using white paper and then hand it off for painting to the toddler as well. I think I would use green tissue paper (or construction paper or whatever works for you) and cut or tear the strips to my desired length(s). The bottom appears to be white beans of some sort… and what kid throughout history hasn’t loved making something out of beans and pasta shells?! We might save this one for a Saturday when we have time to take breaks and then finish working on it.

I love these crafts! All you need is:

(1) Paper plates

(2) Paint of all colors (and paintbrushes)

(3) Construction paper (and tissue paper if you choose)

(4) Scissors – one regular pair and then a few that cut in shapes/angles

(5) Scrap ribbon, string, yard, tulle, fabric, etc.

(6) Crafting beads and crafting feathers

(7) Small white beans

(8) Glue. Hot glue gun, glue stick (if your toddler is hands on with glueing), or Elmer’s glue (if you’re brave and messy). Just make sure you have glue.

 

I will have to update you all with our photos after we have them all made!