Chocolate Bread

I tried this easy recipe for Almond Butter Bread recently and it was a bit dry for me and a little bland. However, I thought it would make a great fixer upper.

I picked up some MaraNatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread and made another batch.

It is as good as any chocolate cake I’ve ever made. Not too sweet and moist enough to hold together.

Thanks to John & Miriam for sharing the original recipe with me.

IMG_0827

the BLESSING club

Saturday my cousin and I went to the Women’s Holiday Expo and we met Bella LaRocca. Bella decided to do something positive to help those less fortunate in her community. “The Blessing Club” provides backpacks filled with day to day essentials that are in such demand but often overlooked.

The Blessing Club is based on the dream of a nine year old girl, named Bella LaRocca who had a vision of helping the less fortunate in our community. Through her compassion and the love of her family, she found herself volunteering with a group that fed the hungry and homeless. While interacting with the less fortunate, she noticed the stress of those receiving food and clothing and the difficulty transporting all their belongs in ripped grocery bags. While preparing to start the school year, Bella had her AHA! moment…why not provide “backpacks” to the less fortunate?

These backpacks would include everyday necessities such as socks, underwear, toiletries and hygiene products.

The Blessing Club allows children the opportunity to make a difference and pave the way for all of our children to make this world a better place. We have ongoing projects, outings and events to support valuable life lessons such as managing money, understanding life goals, gratitude and respect for others. It is through parent involvement and family participation that our club will be successful. While we are learning the lesson of compassion we will be distributing backpacks filled with simple necessities to those amongst us in need.

Bella of The Blessing Club

You can help Bella make a difference by donating to their fundraising page at GoFundMe. Follow The Blessing Club on Facebook and Instagram.

Honey Do

I have had a couple of days to relax and do nothing. A lot of things have changed – for the better. I needed this time to absorb it all. Also .. make lists.

I am a big list maker. I have small notebooks stashed in places, apps on my phone, lists in my head. Stuff that needs to be done, stuff that I want done, bucket list, honey do list.

Moving back into an RV full time came with a great opportunity to SORT first. The last time we moved from a 1700 sq ft brick ranch house to a 40′ 5th wheel … for weeks we had only a path through the boxes. Things we thought we wanted to keep, things we believed we would need.

This time we are afforded the chance to really go through things and let them go. I am finding this way easier than LK. He is a champ with it but I see he bothers him. The “what if I need this” voice is strong with him. Me, if I find that I have gotten rid of something that I NEED .. I get another one. Sentimental objects are a little different – but gadgets and such, it is the curse of being an Army Brat. You have to move so often, and you don’t always get to take all of your things with you, so you learn to let it go.

This time around I am trying really hard to let even the sentimental things fall away. Finding them good homes with people who will truly enjoy them and cherish them. Everything else, donated.

Collect moments not things.

window shopping online

Since trying to simplify life I have tried to buy less crap. It hasn’t always worked out the way I want but I have gotten better. MOST of the time the crap I buy is crap I can actually use. Cute and functional. But sometimes I see stuff that will have no real use other than something shiny for me to look at, break during a road trip, and keep dust free on a gravel drive (wish me luck on that last one.).

The great thing about online shopping is that I can wishlist it or add it to my Amazon and then if I STILL want it, I will remember where it was. That was the issue with meat life shopping. I’d see something I would like, walk away to ponder it – go back and never see it again.

You have to understand 2 things about me and my life to really appreciate this. 1) I have buyers remorse before I get to the check out – I often talk myself out of small to large purchases. It drives LK crazy. 2) I have VERY limited space now and if I am going to buy something it has to function within that space.

I am still a sticker slut and a pen whore — I love quirky t-shirts and I don’t think I will ever walk by cute stuffed animals without at least a passing glance but I think I am getting better at this RV lifestyle.

= )

RV part 2

Shortly after our RV showed up we made a trek to VA to get some things. Our eyes were bigger than our coach. We had rented a truck and came back with so much stuff that boxes were literally stacked floor to ceiling all over with a mere path to the fridge and front door.

You find out you can live without a lot of things once you make the choice to life full time in an RV.

For instance … books. Heavy space sucking books. I love books too. The way they feel, smell – the turn of a crisp page. Yeah I’m crazy like that. But 10 boxes of books wasn’t at all practical to keep. So I sold most of them to a used media store. Same went for CDs and DVDs. We paired down a lot of stuff in a short time.

I was so proud of LK – after years of collecting parts and bits of technology – tools and pieces of projects that he might “need again someday” – he left 99.9% behind.

Living in an RV full time has done a lot for my shopping habits as well. I still tend to pick up items I think I want / need and carry them around the store. As I shop I think about the use of the item, how much space will it take up, can it be multitasked. 9 out of 10 times it gets put back. Clutter can not be part of your life when you live in 400 sq ft of space.

= )

It’s been a year of RVing full time and I love it. I love it even more now that we have a truck and we CAN actually go somewhere. But it really is a comfortable home.

After a few weeks of unpacking, donating, selling and giving away things we made a dent and the boxes were gone. Some things were gone that we weren’t willing to part with.

Our generator was stolen – while we were home, asleep. It was attached to the RV by a very large cable. Unfortunately, this coach is insulated so well not even the dogs heard the theives working to cut the cable. It was gnarled pretty bad so we know it took them some time to cut it.

Living in that trailer park was awful. About the time LK figured out the job there wasn’t what they sold him on the SWAT team showed up to the trailer park to stop a man with a shotgun from killing himself. Not just the SWAT team – but pretty much the entire Lexington police force along with the MAYOR – talk about small town tactics. It was time to leave.

Before Spring sprung LK had interviewed in Raleigh, NC for his current job and we were making plans to escape Lexington before anything else happened to us.

We hired someone to tow the coach to our new “lot” in NC. We secured anything that would fall over, rattle and pulled in the slides and away we went. Woke up in our own bed – drove to our new place – slept in our own bed. Easiest move we’ve ever had.

to be continued