Tuesday, August 22, 2017

camping at Barren River Lake with three dogs

This past weekend Casey and I went camping and it was a total last minute decision. We had to buy a tent, some tie outs for the dogs (because yes, they all three went with us) and find an open campsite. It just so happened that this weekend (Monday) was the Solar Eclipse, and since this area was in the path of totality, campsites have been booked for months. We were able to find a spot that was a little out of the path on Barren River Lake, so we booked it, packed up and headed out.
I'm not sure if you've ever looked for a place to camp, but it isn't that easy. I mean there are always places where you can just drive up and see if they have a space, and there are always the places you already know about that are probably pretty close. But we don't have places that we always go to yet, and campsite websites are terrible. For the most part, you'll only see their availability (if that) and you can forget about seeing any pictures of the area. We knew that we wanted to be in the trees and I was interested in being on a lake. We definitely didn't want to be in a parking lot type campsite and we didn't want to be hiking far to a campsite on our first trip with three dogs. Enter in Bailey's Point!
We were delighted to find out that our campsite was right next to an entrance to the lake. We were basically on the water, just higher up on the hill. The whole campground is right on the lake, so there were three specific areas you could go to swim. We were in the F loop and it's lake area was the best for us. It was secluded and a couple of moments we were the only people down there. But even with other people at the lake, we were able to spread out and it was calm and relaxing.
We brought our $5 Walmart floats and floated while watching the sunset.
We also brought loads of our favorite Topo Chico.
Man oh man did we have an experience with cooking over a fire! Neither of us have ever done this before and we really learned a lot because we cooked three meals. The first meal we cooked was our first night's dinner, and it got so dark while we were in the middle of cooking. We were very close to having our food all cooked and the fire went out almost completely. We ended up just wrapping everything up in foil and tossing it on the hot coals to finish the cooking process. I have since watched many videos on how to do this better. Our breakfast and lunch cooking went smoothly.
Casey even made coffee, with a paper towel as her filter!
The dogs all hung in the lake for a little bit because it was pretty warm out in the sun. The white one usually hates water, so it was fun to see them all enjoy it for a minute.
These are the dogs- Daisy on the left, Hazel in the middle, and Whitt on the right.
Hazel was the only dog that actually swam.
And this was our last picnic before we left! The dogs love to stare at your food in hopes that you'll drop some or just willingly give them some.
Our camping faves from this trip:
- Dog tie outs (these were a life saver)
- Wool blanket (for our picnic)

Well, it was a great 24 hour trip and we are planning to take another trip in two weeks for Labor Day. And I'm sure many more after that. Where should we go? We would love to hear your favorite places to camp, it doesn't even have to be near Nashville!

xo, Savannah

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Magic Lemonade Recipe

I've seen color changing drinks floating around the internet and thought it was pretty cool, but not something I would ever spend the time doing. But then I realized that our Eclipse party would be a great time to serve something magical to our guests! So I decided to create a recipe for something very simple, that still had that ooh ahh factor. So here it is- Magic Lemonade.
The concept is simple. Create two different liquids, one purple and one yellow, and pour together when serving. The purple liquid gets it's color from purple cabbage. And I know what you are thinking, cabbage lemonade gross! But you can't taste the cabbage AT ALL. It's weird and crazy, but it's true.
For our eclipse party, I wanted to name the liquids something fitting, so I settled on Moon Beams and Sunshine. The Moon Beams part is basically a purple simple syrup and the Sunshine is lemon water. Mix the two together and you get a very fun ombre situation like the picture above. Stir it up and it's all turns bright pink!
Magic Lemonade Recipe

For the Moon Beams
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 purple cabbage, cut in large slivers
- 1 cup sugar

For the Sunshine
- 1 cup cold water
- The juice of 6 lemons (or around 1 cup)

1. Bring the 2 cups of water and cabbage to a boil. Let boil for up to 3 minutes until desired color is reached. 2 minutes is plenty of time and 3 minutes will start to make the water taste like cabbage.
2. Strain the cabbage out of the water. Remember to use a bowl to catch the purple water.
3. Put the purple water back into the pot and add the sugar. Warm until the sugar is dissolved.
4. Juice the lemons and mix with cold water.
5. When ready to serve, let guests pour equal parts of each liquid into their glass over ice, and watch the magic happen!

Let us know if you serve this at your party! And we would love it if you would share this post with your friends because sharing is caring!

xo, Savannah

Thursday, August 17, 2017

DIY: Solar Eclipse Piñata

We are all about having a theme with every party we have, so as soon as I knew we were having a solar eclipse party, I knew we needed to have a piñata. With the solar eclipse happening, it's just already a built in party theme. And let's get one thing straight, this piñata is totally for adults. We will probably stuff it with a mix of candy and mini liquor bottles because adult piñatas should contain things adults want. We will see.
This piñata has got to be the easiest one to make. If you do any shopping on Amazon or have ever thrown a party, you probably already have the tools. You just need:
- Some cardboard
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Black and white streamers (Peach, Teal and Blue optional)
I'm going to try to organize my thoughts about this into some sort of instruction that makes sense. Let's do this!

1. Cut two cardboard circles in the size you want, just make sure they are the same.
2. Choose how wide you want the piñata to be and cut cardboard strips to be that wide. Ours is about 4 inches, which is how wide the flaps on a lot of our boxes already were.
3. Cut notches along the long edge of your strips and fold the edges down.
4. Tape the folded edges down facing inward to the edge of one of the circles.
5. Cut a flap into one of your strips so you will be able to put candy and things inside the piñata. You want the strip to be longer than the hole so it doesn't easily fall into the piñata.
6. Tape the second circle down on top of the other side of your edges and make sire everything is taped securely.
7. Cut streamers into a manageable length and fold in half.
8. Cut fringe into the streamers. I could cut through about 8 folded pieces at a time.
9. Hot glue the folded side of an individual streamer around the border and then repeat over and over again making your way inward. You will need to overlap the streamer a good bit. You just need to be able to see the underneath color a little. To get the solar eclipse effect, use colors that fade lighter to darker. You could use red, yellow and blue or even just one color between the black and white. 
10. Cut two slits near each other to thread a string through to be able to hang the piñata.
If you squint/blur your eyes a little this will look a little like what we will be looking at in the sky in a few days (minus the darkness).
Well, I don't know about you, but I can't wait to use this at our party on Monday. I even covered a little piece of wood with some streamers to match, but you could use a bat or dowel. Let us know if you decide to make one yourself. And if you like this post, please share with your friends on Facebook!

xo, Savannah

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