hooping happiness

Nothing has been making me happier lately than hula hooping. I picked up the new hobby on a visit to my parents’ house where I dusted off my mom’s weighted hoop and gave it a try. In two days I’d mastered this trick:

As you can see, I’m in my parents’ yard with my mom’s old hoop. She never got it down because as we discovered this hoop is too big for her. The best size hoop is one that when upright at your feet reaches your belly button or close to it. After a bit of research my dad and I took a trip to home depot and grabbed the parts to make my own hoop.

A little over a week later I figured out how to hoop on my chest:


I finally ordered some grip tape, and got my hoop to be a bit less slippery! And just then I got the gap between my waist and my chest bridged a few days later.

Have you ever hula hooped, I mean as an adult? It’s so fun. It puts a smile on everyone’s face. Unless you are in the living room, in which case everyone seems very concerned that you might knock everything over. Which you might. But who cares? It’s so fun!

Camping at Withrow Springs State Park

I have a new favorite campground. Withrow Springs State Park is a little under an hour from our apartment in central Fayetteville, AR but it’s totally worth the drive.

withrow springsWe camped on December 1st and ended up having the whole campground to ourselves. It was a bit scary in the middle of the night when we met a scavenging possom and had to scare him off with sparklers and dancing (shh, don’t tell the ranger we had fireworks!). We went to celebrate Brooke’s birthday, but you’re going to see a lot of camping posts in the future because it’s our New Years resolution to camp once a month for the whole year.

campingOne of the most fun parts of the trip was that we cooked everything we ate over our wood fire. My dad chopped us a bunch of logs and collected two big bundles of sticks for us. I made some girl scout style firestarters and we were set. On the left up there is our potatoes just after I pulled them off of the fire to scoop them into our potato salad bowl. The other things we made were: bratworst, yellow cake (from scratch! over a fire!), and bacon and eggs. Then of course there were the morning s’mores you can see me making in the middle, above.

campingWe had tons of fun camping and I can’t wait to go again in January (even though it’s going to be pretty chilly!).

light my fire


After three years as a counselor at Girl Scout camp, I can’t go camping without a fresh set of fire-starters. These classic scouting essentials are easy enough to make yourself, and will light your fire on the first try every time. Brooke and I went camping for her 25th birthday a few weeks ago and I made some of these for our trip. They were wonderful!

What you’ll need:
cardboard egg carton
dryer lint, sawdust, wood shavings, and the like
parafin wax

What you’ll do:
Distribute the lint, sawdust, and wood curls evenly and attractively in each segment of the carton. Melt the parafin wax according to the box’s instructions (we double boil it in something disposable like a steel can). On a newspaper covered surface, or outside in an area that won’t be disturbed by a bit of wax, pour the melted wax into each of the segments. Allow to cool completely.
When you’re ready to use them, just tear off one segment at a time, stick it in the base of your fire, and light a cardboard edge.

Have you made these before? Do you have a different kind of fire starter that you like to use? Tell us all about it!

welcome to the pumpkin patch

You can stop searching, Dickey Farms is the only place to go for pumpkins in Northwest Arkansas. They grow a bazillion varieties and each one is unique, beautiful, and some are even delicious!

pumpkinThis is our load from last year, but we’re gearing up to go again. Maybe even more than once! Aren’t they absolutely beautiful?