Goliad State Park

Goliad State Park Guide


COVID is here but that doesn't mean life has to completely suck!! I've been learning about new opportunities in our great state of Texas by visiting one state park at a time. This week's adventure led me to Goliad State Park. 

Getting There

Well Goliad State Park is a little far for a day trip but we did it!! It's about 2 hours 15 minutes from Austin, 1 hour 40 minutes from San Antonio, and 2 hours 20 minutes from Houston. 

McKinney Falls State Park

McKinney Falls State Park

McKinney Falls is the only State Park in Austin and it's gorgeous!! And the best part...there are waterfalls at McKinney Falls State Park!!! Mini-waterfalls...but still...waterfalls in the ATX!!

Enchanted Rock State Park

Enchanted Rock State Park Weekend Camping Guide

Enchanted Rock has been on my "to do list" for several years!! Every time I would visit Fredericksburg I'd say to myself "I need to come back and hike Enchanted Rock".  Well I finally hiked Enchanted Rock and I'm here to share all of my tips with you!

Palmetto State Park



Palmetto State Park Guide

I love meeting new people and hearing about their adventures! I spoke to someone on Instagram recently who recommended Palmetto State Park so I added it to my to do list!! Definitely didn't disappoint...great weekend getaway!! Here are some highlights/tips for your next trip to Palmetto State Park:

DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Table

Farmhouse Kitchen Table with Trestle Legs

When we moved into our house I was dying to build a farmhouse kitchen table!! I had a ton of ideas saved on Pinterest and I was super excited to get started on our custom made table. Then as I started really reading all of my material, I realized I didn't have any actual plans!! I had a lot of pictures and a lot of tips...but zero plans!! I was even willing to buy plans online but I couldn't find any that fit what I wanted. So I did some reading, half-way created some plans myself, and then told Neil we were ready!! I knew some of my calculations would have to be done on the spot...which got a little awkward when Neil would ask for the next cut and I didn't have an answer yet.  He quickly figured out I was kind of winging this whole project...but no stress...I'm semi-decent at math!!

So after all of our hard work I wanted to share our designs with everyone because I know how hard it can be to find plans online!! Also...just as an FYI...this is the first piece of furniture we've built from scratch.  So it's a pretty basic design and a great project for beginners!!

Guide to Creating a Quarantine Schedule

Quarantine Schedule for Kids

How is the whole working from home and managing your kids at the same time thing going for ya? I’m just going to guess that the first few days were fun but then reality hit. Now the kids are arguing over toilet paper and it’s almost impossible to find a quiet place to conference call your boss.  So how do we find the calm amidst all of this chaos?

The answer is actually pretty simple, create a schedule. 

Meatloaf Mondays

Meatloaf Monday Recipe

I don't know what weekly meals your family had growing up but we had Meatloaf Mondays!! YUM!!! Now if my mom is reading this she's probably thinking "I didn't make meatloaf every Monday"...which would be a true statement.  But whenever mom would ask us what we'd like to eat that week for dinner...Meatloaf Monday may or may not have been chanted. It's definitely one of our favorite meals and if we're really lucky mom will make us meatloaf for Christmas instead of turkey!! hahahaha...we're an odd a group I know!!  But if you're interested in joining our Meatloaf Mondays tradition check out the recipe below.

Grief Self-Exploration House

Grief House Activity

Y'all know me....always trying new things in my counseling office!! This week I did a new activity with my grief group kiddos and I think it went really well!! I read about the Grief Self-Exploration House activity on the The Tristesse Grief Center Blog. I changed one or two things but I love this lesson they created!

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

healthy chicken and wild rice soup

I'm going to call this an award winning soup!! My coworker made this soup for a competition we had at work and she got 2nd place!! So yes...it's now award winning!! I stole the recipe from her and made a few minor adjustments to make it a tad bit healthier. Notice I'm not calling it healthy...just a "tad bit healthier"...hahaha...enjoy!!

Box and Ball-Grief Activity

Box and Ball Counseling

I love doing activities in my counseling sessions with kids!! Over the years I've learned that small activities can lead to powerful conversations!! I've been saying this a lot recently...I feel like it's my new counseling model!! But it's sssoo true. Kids come into my counseling office and they don't know how to talk about their problems.  I mean let's be honest half the time they don't even know what the problem is exactly.  And they definitely don't know how to fix the problem. So how do we get them to talk? How do we help them learn to safely open up? How do we figure out the problem?  And once they've opened up, how do we lead them to their own solutions/conclusions?  The answer...activities!!

Today's activity that I'm sharing is called the box and ball lesson. I first read about the box and ball lesson while I was researching new activities for my grief group. A few weeks ago I decided to give it a try and I was super impressed with the conversations that came from our lesson.

Separation Anxiety in Middle School

How to help with separation anxiety in teens

Separation anxiety is common when students first start preschool and elementary school.  It's not that common in middle school...but let's just say it happens enough for me to write a blog post about it!! Every year I see more and more separation anxiety at the middle school level. Some parents say their child has always had separation anxiety and others say this is the first time they're seeing signs. It's not surprising that students suddenly develop anxiety in middle school considering they're developmentally moving from concrete thinking to abstract thinking.  There's lots of information available online regarding the connection between abstract thinking and anxiety...but that's not something we're going to dive into today.

Today we're going to discuss some solutions to help a student with separation anxiety. I'll provide a plan that includes the parents and school counselor working together to successfully get the child to school.

Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Spinach, and Goat Cheese

Spaghetti Squash Recipe

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 package of bacon 
1 tsp garlic
1 (5oz) bag baby spinach
2-4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Chocolate Pretzel Bites

Chocolate M&M Pretzels


I love these things!! They're better than chocolate covered pretzels in my opinion...and you don't make a huge mess making them!! The hardest part is unwrapping all of the hershey kisses...and not eating them while your unwrapping them...hahaha.

Transitioning to Middle School

Tips for Parents transitioning to middle school

Are you having issues sleeping at night because your 5th grader just came home with a letter about middle school?  Did you grab that bottle of wine after the 5th grade parent night because you're overwhelmed with the fact that your little baby is going to middle school?? Well I promise you're not alone...lots of wine was consumed after the 5th grade parent night!! Here are 7 things you can start doing for your 5th grader now to help make the middle school transition easier for them:

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken or Turkey Pot Pie

Growing up we always had Turkey Pot Pie the day after Thanksgiving.  I say Turkey Pot Pie because my mom would use leftover turkey to make it instead of chicken...perfect way to eat Thanksgiving leftovers!! My mom's recipe was an "easy" throw it all in and just cook it recipe...no one wanted to do a lot of cooking the day after Thanksgiving.

Well a few years ago I decided I was going to make "real" Chicken Pot Pie...with chicken and fresh ingredients!! I was excited!! I read a bunch of different recipes, picked out yummy veggies at the grocery store, spent about an hour prepping everything...and....it tasted the exact same as my mom's "easy" recipe!! So forget all of that work...I'm going back to the "easy" Chicken Pot Pie!!!

The Best Affordable Peloton Alternative

experience peloton for cheaper

Peloton commercials are everywhere right now...everyone's thinking about their New Years Resolutions and working towards their "bikini body"!!  Peloton has built a great spin bike...they have an attached screen where you can stream into live classes from your home!! And they have thousands of spin classes available for download...it's amazing!! Why not get one and just try it out?!?!  I'll tell you why...the price tag!! A Peloton bike costs over $2000!!! TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS!! You've got to be a serious biker to "try out" a Peloton bike. This isn't something you buy for your New Years Resolution hoping it'll motivate you to work out...this is something for serious bikers!!  Or someone who has an extra $2000 laying around....and that's not me!!

Luckily there are VERY affordable alternatives to the Peloton bike!!  I've spent a few months reading about alternatives and trying the different options out there....I've finally found what I would call the "best alternative"!!