Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ludington and Platte River June 2014

We got a little behind schedule for the drive but we arrived at Ludington State Park and finished setting up our camper by 4:30 pm.   Weather was perfect, cloudy, windy and cool.  We walked to the beach and the kids played in the water.   Then we visited the campground gift shop, checked out the  bathrooms and then Vyn entertained us with his magic tricks while Lyn and guama made loom bracelets.  The first night was quiet and we slept soundly until the neighbor's dogs started barking.
The second day, we went downtown Ludington, Lyn and I climbed our first lighthouse the "North Breakwater Lighthouse".  We stopped by House of Flavors for lunch where we also had a huge serving of ice cream for dessert. 
The hubby got excited when we happened to park right in front of a coffee roastery by chance.  Although they serve coffee drinks, they ran out of roasted coffee beans for sale which was a huge disappointment.  So we ended up buying his roasted coffee at a local organic store.  We ended the second day watching a campground concert by "Mike Lynch".  Who happens to be a very entertaining local guy.
Third day was a great day for playing in the beach, it was warm and sunny.  Then we walked to Hamlin Dam where deers were just watching us by the trails.
Fourth day, we drove to Platte River Campground.  We drove by a few smalls towns that were very picturesque.
Since we were not able to make reservations early enough, we got the rustic campground site.  Much to my delight, we were right next to the bathroom which includes shower rooms operated by tokens that cost $1.00 supposedly for 6 minute showers, but everybody was able to finish before the token ran out.    So the rustic part was just that there is no electricity available in our sites.
They were doing some construction in the Dune Climb parking lot.  Something to look forward to when we visit the area again.
Mama climbed her first sand dune and made it to the first plateau.  The kids and dad went all the way up.
 Fighting the gravity.
Fun run on the way down.  Mama and I just walked.
The next day was raining, foggy and windy in the morning.  We drove by the dune and as you can see in the picture above, people still climbed it.  I wonder if it actually would be easier to climb wet, packed sand.


It was foggy and windy in the morning but we still drove the loop just in case the weather gets worse. 

The afternoon was sunny and so we visited Glen Haven which is a historic village.  We stopped by the blacksmith's shop, the general store, the hotel and the cannery/boat musum.  Lots of history to the place but it was also loaded with black flies which were vicious.

Since it turned out to be a beautiful sunny afternoon, we drove up the scenic drive again.

So glad we were able to share these view with mama.

We also visited Glen Arbor and stopped by our favorite coffee roastery the Leelanau Coffee a roastery where we can really buy roasted coffee and have drinks as well.  We also visited some stores and of course The Great Lakes Tea and Spice shop  for my tea supply and our last stop was The Grocer's Daughter for some delicious chocolates.

Until the next adventure.  Thank you for visiting.


Hartwick Pines June 2014

This was my mom's first ever real camping in a real campground at Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling, Michigan.  We had a nice sunny day for travel and for setting up of the camper.  Had a few nights listening to rain or woke up to rain.  But we luckily always had a sunny day to just walk the trails or stroll downtown.

We walked the trails while the dad ran.  Went shopping in downtown Grayling where I bought a dress, the kids bought stuff toys and the dad bought duck decoys.  We had a meal at the 50's diner "Dawson and Stevens" which has now become our yearly stop as well. 

During rainy mornings, we played LCR, Apples to Apples, built log cabins, had indoor s'mores, and other indoor games or just hang around.  This was the first time we used rectangular shaped marshmallows.
Thank you for stopping by.  Till the next adventure.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Memorial Weekend Camping

 First camping for 2014 and we had my mom join us.  We spent Memorial weekend at my mother in law's lakeside property.   We kayak, pedal boat, fish, and other outdoor activities.

We each made our own pizzas.

 Watched bald eagles flying over us as we played in the water and just hang around chatting and catching up with family.

Observed baby snapping turtle.
This weekend was my mom's first time to sleep in a camper.

Turkey and Poblano Chili


From real simple.



  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and poblano and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, 4 to 6 minutes; stir in the cumin.
  3. Add the tomatoes (with their juice), the beans, 2 cups water, 1¼ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Add the turkey and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dow Weekend of Races

Lyn and I joined our first ever 1 Mile race this weekend and had great fun.  She wanted to sprint most of the way but I needed more practice.  I can't even jog the whole way but rather walked most of the mile.
This was Vyn's second 1 mile race and he did better than last year.  He planned to do better next year and beat his current time.
The dad, decided to do the half marathon for this race and did better than his half marathon in the Lansing Half Marathon a couple weeks ago.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fried Morel Mushroom

Vyn spent the weekend with a friend's family and went morel mushroom hunting among other fun activities.  He can't stopped talking about the weekend.   They were able to find some morel mushrooms and Vyn brought some home.  Thank you very much "J".
I searched for a recipe online and found this from allrecipes.   Made it for dinner and we all loved it.  It's crunchy and tasty.  The aroma while they were frying was mouthwatering.
Fresh Morel Mushrooms, rinsed and cut into halves ready for flour and frying.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

First Race for 2014

First race the hubby joined for 2014 was the Lansing Half Marathon.  This was our first time to go to Lansing for a race and we get to go with my mama who came from the Philippines for a visit.  We also visited Lansing the first few times mama came for a visit.  She get to see how the capital city improved through the years.  Since Vyn was just there for a field trip a few weeks ago, he was very excited to described and gave info of the things he learned from his trip.

We walked around downtown Lansing which is the capital city of Michigan and took pictures of the Michigan State Capitol Building and surrounding areas and buildings.  While the hubby was running, the kids, my mom and I ate at Biggby which was the only place that we could find that was open Sunday morning.  After the race, we drive around the Michigan State University Campus in East Lansing and stopped at the Oriental Market.
Random picture of people getting ready at the starting line.

It was a cool sunny day.  Definitely a great day to run and be outdoors.
The finisher medal.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Volcano Meat Loaf

This was a hit in our house today.  A friend mentioned she can't imagine anybody who don't like meat loaf except her kids.  Mine are both as picky too.  I got this from Mr. Food and they cleaned off their plates.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 a 10-1/2-ounce can condensed cream of tomato soup
  • 1 (1-ounce) package dry onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups warm mashed potatoes

  • What To Do:
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9" x 13" baking dish with cooking spray.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, tomato soup, onion soup mix, bread crumbs, egg, and water; mix well.
    3. Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal amounts and shape each section into a miniature volcano mountain. Place in the baking dish and bake for 1 hour, or until cooked through.
    4. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. "Frost" each volcano meat loaf with mashed potatoes, creating a crater in the potatoes at the top. Return the volcanoes to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes are golden.
    • Serving tip: Let the kids fill the craters with gravy or ketchup to make lava flows from the tops of their volcanoes

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    Pink Ombre Heart Cake for Valentine's Day!!

    Since I made an ombre heart soaps, I decided to make an ombre heart cake as well.  This is the first youtube video I found and I made it.  Mine did not turn out as pretty as his but the family liked the look of it.  I only did a two layer cake which is more than enough for us.

    Here is my version of this cake.  I don't have a heart shape mold, so I just used my round mold and cut a triangle off on one side.

    The cake I made was just a box of red velvet cake mix.
    Hubby said:  are you going to do that all the way up?
    Yes, all the way up and more.

    My 5 year old helped with the mixing of the colors and she had fun doing it.  There are still streaks of the color not totally mixed in but the ombre idea is visible. 
    Buttercream icing from Wilton

    • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
    • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract       
    • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
    • 2 tablespoons milk


    About 3 cups of icing.

    Step 1

    In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

    Step 2

    For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

    Step 3

    For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.

    Step 4

    For Pure White Icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Color Butter Flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes