Super 8 {Metropolis, IL}

Last month we went to Mermet Springs to SCUBA dive. Mermet Springs is about 10 miles from Metropolis, Illinois. Now Metrpolis, Illinois is just across the river from Paducah, Kentucky, so that’s how we wound up going eating in both Metropolis, Illinois as well as Paducah, Kentucky. But where did we stay, because obviously we didn’t sleep in our truck, right? I’m so glad you asked where we stayed. We stayed at the Super 8 in Metropolis.

A few years ago we tried staying in another hotel and were kicked out at 2am. Why we were kicked out, well we were asleep so it’s not like we did anything. It was a screwy deal that I’d rather not rehash. But when we needed a place to stay at 2am, the Super 8 took us in with open arms. And I’d like to note that the hotel that kicked us out, the last 2 years we’ve been there, they haven’t had any cars in their parking lot. How they stay in business I’m not really sure.

While the Super 8 might need a bit of updating, it’s a clean hotel with clean rooms and a bed. You can’t complain. I really think these beds were full size beds but we got a double room because my mother-in-law was with us.

One thing we love about this hotel is the fact they have a swimming pool and a hot tub. When you have a kid who loves water with you and she can’t get in at Mermet Springs, this is the perfect way to get her in the water and let her swim.

Mark and I have stayed at this hotel 4 times now. No complaints! I must also admit that Mark and Jared might have played some pranks on our friends so they told the front desk staff that if they got complaints, this is what they did. The hotel staff played along. It was great!

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10 Fall Cleaning Ideas

Today is the first day of Fall. Does anyone think this year went by in a whirlwind? Wow! I can’t believe it but before we know, it’ll be Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and then Winter which means Christmas. Let’s throw in a couple birthdays in that mix and a couple anniversaries and Bam, the year will come to New Years Eve and an end. We’ll be at 2017. Wow!

And this has been quite the interesting year for my family and me. But let’s not focus on that today. Instead, I’d like to offer up 10 Fall Cleaning Ideas to help make your transition into the Fall Season a little easier!

1. I hear winter is going to be tough this year, so you might want to Tighten/Secure the hatches! Make sure to look for gaps or seals in and around your doors and windows as well as just make sure you don’t have any gaps in your foundation, etc. If you do, use some caulk or weatherstripping to fix or else call a professional to come make sure your house is in tip top shape!

2. Clean that chimney. Your Chimney has sat vacant all summer… or so you think. If you don’t have a cap on the top, a bird could very easily have gotten in there to create a home. Or better yet, you might find that there is a crack in the fireplace or chimney. My parents had that unfortunate incident happen and we had to get it fixed before they were able to use their fireplace. Better to be safe than sorry!

3. For once put your mind to the gutter… as in Clean out the gutters. Make sure to clean all the leaves and gunk out of the gutters. If you’re feeling real ambitious you can put mesh covers over the gutters to prevent having to do this in the future.

4. Check for Damage to your rooftop. Remember, just around the corner Santa will be bringing in his sleigh and reindeer. Make sure he has a safe landing space. Also, you don’t want a minor problem on the roof to become a major problem!

5. Drain, unplug, remove water from ponds, bird baths, bird feeders, etc. And your water hose, especially if your water hose drains back into your house to keep the hydrant from freezing, because you’ll actually break pipes.

6. [In my Joey Gladstone’s best voice] Cut it out. Meaning, take that lawnmower for one last spin before placing it in the garage for the winter. Also take extra care of that lawnmower and winterize it! Hopefully by this point you’ll be done mowing the grass for the year.

7. Clean the furnace. Especially if this is your only source of heat for your house, but even if it is secondary. You want it to be up and running efficiently, especially with below frigid temperatures coming soon!

8. Steam Time. Check the humidifiers. With the drier air, make sure your humidifier is working properly. Your nose will thank you! Make sure to remove any hard water deposits from your humidifier.

9. Rake and destroy leaves. It’s time to start thinking about raking those leaves up. Make sure you let the family play in them and they’re a great opportunity for pictures, so don’t forget the camera!

10. Check batteries. Setting yourself a reminder to check batteries in smoke detectors and CO2 monitors twice a year is a good thing. One time to do it is Spring and Fall. Why not. Hey, if you want, check them 4 times per year. Better to be safe than sorry. Also check the batteries in your vehicles with the upcoming winter and flashlights. Flashlights are necessary if freak ice storms take out your power for a week… been there done that.

So what other tips am I missing?

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Barton County Rescue & Recover and Smokin Joe’s BBQ

I have friends on the Barton County Rescue and Recovery team. Do you know what they are? Go get lost… they’ll find you. ha! Just kidding. They are a search and rescue team that is funded through donations and fundraisers. It is comprised of volunteers and they are part of the Barton County Emergency Management system. They specialize in swift water rescues, public safety diving, and land based search and rescue.

I mentioned that they run off donations and fundraisers. Well Smokin Joe’s BBQ located in Liberal, Missouri, is teaming up with the Barton County Rescue and Recovery team this Saturday during the Lamar City Wide Garage Sale to help keep people fed while they’re out finding their bargains!

They will be set up at Lamar First Assembly Church at 1200 Mill Street in Lamar, Missouri, from 6am until 4pm. Now who wants to eat BBQ at 6am you might be thinking… well, I’ll bet you can get some good smells from the BBQ

but, from 6am until they are gone you’ll also be able to try a Hurt’s Donut. Then at 10am until 4pm, the smells you’ll get will be able to be purchased and eaten all while helping your Barton County Rescue and Recovery team out.

Lamar First Assembly Church is located on the corner of 12th Street (hwy 160 which is the main drag in Lamar) and Mill Street. They’ll have your eating needs covered before, during, and after the bargain hunting!


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Payton’s Creations

After this weekend, I’m not sure how I will recover. Wow! I’m exhausted! What was I up to this weekend? Well it was the 40th Annual Ride for Life to benefit St. Jude’s Research Hospital. One of the key things that they have at this fundraiser is an auction. My friend Jody donated a wreath to be included in the auction.

Guys, is this not a gorgeous wreath? Oh my! Is she talented or what? So I thought I would pick a few other of her creations (there are many gorgeous ones!) and share them with you.

Now, Did I pick this one…. Nope, she did. We might have gone to rival high schools. Can you guess whose school this was? (hint: Not mine….) But it’s so cute. If you were a teacher, wouldn’t you want a wreath like this in your classroom? Seriously! It just screams cutesie and back to school!

Next up… can anyone say baby shower? Wouldn’t this be cute to include when throwing a baby shower? I mean seriously. This is cute overload!

Fall. I see fall here, although maybe it’s Christmas. I’d so like to say I could do something like this and maybe I could if I weren’t so darn lazy, but why do it when I can just let Jody do it for me. I mean seriously.

Any St. Louis Cardinals fans out there? This is your wreath. I wonder if she made one for the Royals or since it is Football season now, where’s my Chiefs wreath? Just thought I’d throw that out there…

I saw on Facebook either yesterday or Friday that it’s 100 days until Christmas. Now is the time to hit her up. I mean if you wait until Christmas you might be SOL…. and that’s something out of luck but I’m not going to cuss. Hey, Christmas is in this paragraph, no cussing allowed!

Or, if summer is more your thing, well Sunflowers come out starting late summer and maybe into early fall… that’s this time of year!

But the best thing yet… we have a Chili Cookoff and Silent Auction coming up next month and I hear she has something up her sleeve. SHE’S. NOT. TELLING. ME. In the words if Michelle Tanner (from Full House….) “How Rude.” or was that Stephanie Tanner? Someone please correct me if I’m wrong. It’s late and I’ve had a busy weekend!

Anyway If you want to check out her creations, I think you should… go to see Payton’s Creations on Facebook or shoot her a message if you’re looking for something in particular, she might be able to hook you up… hint hint Go Chiefs, even though they lost this weekend, boooo. It’s probably because I wasn’t watching.

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Daylight Donuts {Carthage, MO}

It seems like at my house, Wednesday is known as Donut Day. As a treat, we go to the donut shop in town, get a dozen glazed donuts and then… eat them. No, not all of them, we share with friends. But my daughter, when she sees the donut shop starts going crazy yelling Donuts, donuts! I think she likes fried dough!

Oddly enough, we always get glazed donuts. We never get anything else. It’s our treat. That’s what matters. We are always willing to try donuts from other places, but these are still at the top of our list, although Haskell’s in West Monroe, Louisiana gives these a run for their money. Haskell’s, if you read this… you might want to move here so we can eat yours too, or maybe not so we’ll still continue to eat these. I guess we’ll see.

It is always fun when the donut shop gives my baby some donut holes. She loves them… but she always eats the glazed donuts as well.

Anyone have any suggestions on better ones we should try? We’re always willing. haha.

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Easy Peasy Pancakes

Conversation at my house with a toddler:

Me: what do you want for breakfast?
Toddler: Pancakes
So I dig up all the stuff for pancakes. While they’re cooking we have a breakdown of “I Want Pacakes!”
Me: Okay they’re cooking.
Pancakes are done. I put butter and syrup on them and cut them up. Place her in her high chair.
takes one bite, “I don’t like pancakes. I done.”

These pancakes are so easy and luckily she’s cute, I just said okay, ate mine, and let her down. These pancakes, they’re awesome, I promise. Toddler’s are just finicky. One minute she “loves” sweet tea and the next minute she doesn’t like it, yet all she’ll drink is sweet tea. I don’t understand.

These pancakes are so good, they should be illegal and really no recipe is needed, they’re that easy. They’re better than that box mix you get at the store. Just looking at these, maybe we’ll have pancakes for breakfast… or maybe I will and the toddler can have some fruit snacks or something. Maybe she won’t like those today either….

Easy Peasy Pancakes
1 1/2 cups flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
1 tbsp butter, melted

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together. Mix well, then make a well in the center of the mix and add the milk, egg, and melted butter. Combine until smooth.

Cook pancakes over medium heat on a stove or use a griddle (my fave way).

Add butter and syrup. Enjoy!

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Jose Peppers {Belton, MO}

Earlier this year after a string of unfortunate events revolving around trying to purchase a truck, Mark and I found this restaurant in Belton, MO. On a Monday night we had to wait 20 minutes to be seated… Wow. Must mean it’s good, right? Oh yeah! So good in fact that last night after leaving the Chiefs game, where they won by the way, we decided to eat dinner at Jose Peppers.

I absolutely LOVE stuffed jalapeño peppers. I highly recommend these because I’m not sure you can find better…. seriously! Although I’m willing to keep searching! Like I said, I love stuffed jalapeño peppers.

These particular peppers are stuffed with chicken, jalapeño cream cheese, wrapped in Monterey Jack cheese, breaded, then deep fried and served with Tomatillo Ranch. Can you get any better? I think not… but like I said, I’m willing to try!

The tomatillo ranch is also good on tortilla chips. And speaking of their Tortilla Chips… they are the thin, light and crisp chips. They are my favorite.

So the first time we ate here I really liked what I got. When I ordered last night, I ordered Spinada Enchiladas thinking that’s what I ordered the first time. It wasn’t, but boy did I make the right choice! Two flour tortillas stuffed with spinach, jalapeño cheese, and a touch of onion in a creamy white cheese sauce. It was served with rice and beans. I could do without beans, but they didn’t kill me… lol.

Oh wow. Okay, I really think I’m sold on this restaurant because so far I haven’t found anything I didn’t like. YUM!

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Homemade Spaghetti Noodles

It must be the thought that we’re heading into the fall season or something, but the other night we thought spaghetti sounded good for dinner. Now… I’m not sure if you’ve ever made your own noodles, but oh my gosh, they are so awesome. And it’s really just as easy to make your own as to buy the store bought ones and cook. Seriously.

Now here’s where I might have a hand up on making pasta, but trust me, I’ve made it before with a rolling pin and a knife. Your pasta might be a bit thicker or not nearly as even, but I’m telling you, soooooooo worth it. And if you have a KitchenAid mixer, just go buy one of these. You’ll be glad you did. They also have hand crank ones I found on Amazon. It’s worth the investment… but seriously, a rolling pin works miracles. And for a more uniform noodle if you go that route, just use an herb cutter. See I have multiple solutions.

But if your noodles aren’t uniform, just call it rustic and you’re golden.

So the secret to make these gems….

What you need:
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1-3 tbsp of cream, milk, or water (or a combination of the aforementioned)

What to do:

  1. Whisk your egg with the salt.
  2. Add 1 cup flour and mix well.
  3. Add 1-3 tbsp of your cream, milk, or water. At first you’ll think you need to add more water but really you want it more dry. I wouldn’t go more than 3 tbsp of water. Just mix well!
  4. Spread flour on the counter and hand knead the dough. It’s best!
  5. Then roll the dough thin.
  6. Cut into pieces. if you’re using a knife, cut as thin as you can. My cutter made uniform noodles.
  7. Shake the noodles out and let them air dry as long as you can. I didn’t let mine dry this time at all, other times I let them dry at least 1/2 hour.
  8. Salt your water, bring to a boil, and cook your noodles 18-20 minutes.
  9. Then add your sauce
  10. Eat and enjoy.


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Bruner Pharmacy {Monett, MO}

Yesterday my daughter and I went with my mom to her hair appointment. While mom was getting her hair cut, we walked around downtown Monett, Missouri. I have to say I’ve never really spent a lot of time there so it was interesting. Right across from where mom was getting her hair cut was Bruner’s Pharmacy. We walked across the street and wandered around.

So first off, they have some really cool things in there. I found a Mickey Mouse Scrapbook and a Mickey Mouse Recipe binder. I’m all about spotting the Mickey/Minnie Mouse stuff these days… but the coolest part of it, they had a real ice cream shop!

After we wandered around the store, we decided to go check out the ice cream. The lady behind the counter asked if I knew about the 25 cent cones. I told her no, I’d never been there before. So they have 25 cent Ice Cream cones, chocolate, vanilla, or twist. How awesome is that!

And of course we got one. I mean come on, it was 90+ degrees yesterday and summer… why not eat ice cream! This is what I would have expected to find at a pharmacy back in like the 50’s. Okay maybe not that long ago, but maybe. I love stuff like this. So I just wanted to make sure everyone knew it was there. Oh and they have other really cool things too, remember, they have Mickey Mouse stuff.

Oh and Kansas City Chiefs Ty Beanie Babies. Just saying. The Chief’s first season home game is this Sunday, 9/11.

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Chocolate Eclair Cake

I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. Mine was spent packing/moving. I’m a little exhausted and I found a lot of muscles that I forgot I had. But enough about that… So here’s what I have for you today…

Late Sunday night we decided we needed a break so Mark texted our friend Deb. Earlier in the week she’d mentioned getting together on Monday but we weren’t sure if plans had actually been made. Late Sunday night they decided to go forth with plans. Monday morning meals were discussed and by Monday afternoon we were lounging by her pool, prepping/cooking food, and just relaxing. Well I relaxed, other than playing fetch with the dogs… but that was actually relaxing, all hour and a half of throwing the toy for them to retrieve.

After dinner, Deb was like, I have dessert! That’s where today’s post comes in… A Chocolate Eclair Cake.

So pardon the pictures, my big girl camera is buried somewhere in boxes or clothes… so you get the trusty iPhone, which I wasn’t so happy about. I love my big camera. But that’s besides the point.

so the how to:
1 big box of instant vanilla pudding
2 cups milk
Cream Cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
tub of cool whip

The milk is for the pudding. Make the pudding according to package directions. Mix in the cream cheese, powdered sugar and cool whip. Set aside.

1 box of graham crackers.

put a layer of graham crackers in the bottom of the pan, a layer of your pudding mixture, a layer of the graham crackers, a layer of the pudding mixture, and finish off with a layer of graham crackers.

4 squares (about 4 oz) of chocolate, melted.
Mix in 1 cup cool whip. Then place on top.

The chocolate will harden up and give the topping a nice “hard” layer coating. And bam, let it set and meld together, then EAT!

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