Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A delicious way to use up all that squash from your garden!

A few weeks ago, Katie shared some extra zucchini and yellow squash with me.  I wanted to try something new, so I googled a ton of recipes.  None of the recipes were "just right" for us. (Remember my picky eater?)  I finally tweaked/combined a couple of different recipes to make our own dip/spread that turned out to be incredible!

I began by heating up a little olive oil and a few tablespoons of butter in my pan with some minced garlic.

I washed and cubed a large zuchinni and a large yellow squash and added them to the butter/olive oil & garlic.

Then you can add some fresh herbs - I had basil, oregano, tarragon, rosemary and parsley - plus a generous dash of salt and pepper. I let it all cook down, then added a splash of white wine.  I also added a good handful each of sliced black and green olives. I think everything is better with olives! This mixture looked so fresh and colorful in the pan, don't you think?

Let the veggies cook down for 15 - 20 minutes over medium heat.  Stir as needed.  Then reduce heat to low and let this simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I served this two ways - as a chunky dip with some veggie chip/scoops we picked up at Costco, and also as a spread on some crunchy whole wheat toast. Honestly, we loved it both ways!  Even my son tried it and liked it. Cooking it down for so long lets the veggies get very soft so it all spreads out wonderfully on the bread.  Delicious!

I made this recipe a second time later that week. That time I took more of the seeds out of the squash and zucchini, and added a dollop of pesto sauce as it simmered.  Wow - that made it taste even more incredible.  You can most definitely tweak this to fit your taste - add what you like, take out what you don't!

It's a definite keeper for us.  I love that it's a great way to use up all those squash and zucchini your garden provides during the summer.  Hope you like it as much as we did!

What's your favorite squash recipe? Leave a link in the comments below so I can try it too!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Daytrip Destination ~ Goats on the Roof in Tiger, GA

Looking for a fun daytrip for the kiddos in Atlanta? Take a short ride up 985 to Tiger, GA and visit Goats on the Roof!

This unique destination is a cute little stop that includes two stores with a wide variety of merchandise, gem mining, and snacks - plus feeding the Goats on the Roof.  This is definitely a fun place to spend an hour or two checking everything out!  There are plenty of photo opps too so make sure you have your phone charged or your camera handy.

Let your kids become Goat Rangers! Buy goat food in either store; it is two cones for $1. Kids get a Goat Ranger sticker to wear.  Take the food outside and walk up the stairs to the balcony.  You put a cone of food into the can (attached to the wires) then pull the wires over to send the can to the goats across the driveway on the roof of the other store.  Then pull it back over and do it again! 

We saw goats crossing back and forth on this bridge the entire time we were there. They are always on the move!

All kinds of great stuff inside the stores! (including more photo opps). They offer handcrafted furniture, T-shirts, toys, Amish cheeses, candies and popcorn, handmade items, jams, jellies, sauces, and more.  Plus homemade fudge, baked goods and ice cream, and a little cafe that serves up hot dogs, burgers and sandwiches.   David tried the Nutella fudge with a Cheerwine soda and he was impressed! I had a chocolate chip cookie that was delicious, too. 

Another way to feed the goats is to pedal their food up a ramp to them! See the goat in the picture below? He is always waiting rather impatiently for the next cone of food to be delivered! 

Goats on the Roof is located at 3026 Hwy 441 S  in Tiger, GA.  Visit them on the web here, or on Facebook here.

It took a little over an hour for us to get there from home (N. Gwinnett county), but it was well worth the trip! You'll also pass Tallulah Gorge State Park and Lake Rabun, if you are up to exploring the great outdoors.

On the way home we stopped by Jaemor Farms, which is located right on the same road (Cornelia Hwy, which turns into 441 going North and 985 going South!).  Picked up some gorgeous Georgia peaches, tomatoes, peach preserves, plus some homemade strawberry ice cream for David.  Yum!

So this summer, if you find yourself with nothing to do, or the kids are saying they are bored, hop in the car and head up 985! It's a fun little trip that they will love. Trust me - they will never forget the day they fed goats on a roof! Making memories and spending time together is what it's all about, y'all!

What are some of your favorite Georgia daytrip destinations?


Thursday, June 19, 2014

GIVEAWAY ~ The Lego Movie Blu-Ray

If you have kids, chances are that they love everything about LEGOS! I know David does, even at age 10. He has totes full of thousands of LEGO bricks and enjoys pulling them out to build all kinds of things. LEGOS rock!

Did your family see the LEGO movie earlier this year?   David saw it twice, and would have happily seen it again. It is a great movie that the whole family can enjoy together. We are so excited it is finally out for us to watch at home, since it was released on Blu-ray this week! It's an instant family classic.

The LEGO® Movie is the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO® adventure, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller. It is an original 3D computer animated story that follows Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.

Chris Pratt (Moneyball) stars as the voice of Emmet. Will Ferrell (The Campaign) stars as the voice of his primary adversary, President Business, an erudite, anal-retentive CEO who has a hard time balancing world domination with micro-managing his own life; while Liam Neeson (Taken) voices the president's powerful henchman, known as Bad Cop, who will stop at nothing to catch Emmet.

Starring as Emmet's fellow travelers are Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby), as Vitruvius, an old mystic; Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, Emmy nominee for 30 Rock), as tough-as-nails Lucy, who mistakes Emmet for the savior of the world and guides him on his quest; Will Arnett (Emmy nominee, 30 Rock), as the mysterious Batman, a LEGO minifigure with whom Lucy shares a history; Nick Offerman (NBC's Parks and Recreation) as a craggy, swaggering pirate, obsessed with revenge on President Business; and Alison Brie (Community) as a sweet, loveable member of the team, with a powerful secret.

This EVERYTHING IS AWESOME App is a blast!  Simply move your mouse across the GIFS to control the action and play "EVERYTHING IS AWESOME" at the same time to really get crazy with it.  Press the record button to make a mini six second LEGO GIF video that can be shared to Twitter and Facebook. Videos instantly get posted to YouTube for everyone to enjoy!

So, who wants to enter to win a free copy of the LEGO movie? Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will award a copy to one of my readers! Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck, everyone!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Giveaway & Review: Stone Mountain Park Lasershow & VIP Terrace Seating

Last weekend, David and I were invited to attend the new Lasershow at Stone Mountain and check out their VIP Terrace Seating. We were so excited to go – the Lasershow is always a blast!

When we arrived, we gathered with other metro-area bloggers to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Lasershow.

Did you know that Stone Mountain has the longest-running laser show in the world? It's been going since 1983! There is much planning that goes into putting it together.  In fact, this year's Lasershow was in the planning stages all the way back in Spring of 2013! Wow!  Here is some cool information on Mountainvision:
  • Mountainvision technology was introduced in 2011 and features 3D like effects without the need for 3D glasses 
  • Mountainvision is four to five times the size of an IMAX screen and taller than the Statue of Liberty.
  • Mountainvision would be similar to purchasing a 5,500 inch high definition TV.
This year they've updated the music that accompanies the Lasershow with some of my favorite songs – Happy, Let It Go, and Treasure, to name a few. 

Before the show,  we all enjoyed a delicious buffet that included BBQ, fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, rolls, Coca Cola drinks and ice cream.  They sure do make yummy food at Stone Mountain Park - we've never anything but great food there!

After that scrumptious dinner, we headed down to our VIP Terrace seating, which is located beside the lawn. Comfy padded seats, Coca Cola drinks (including bottled water), Dipping Dots and popcorn awaited us! The kids were able to run and play tag on the lawn. 

Comfy seats for VIP Terrace Seating.

                                         The view from our Terrace Seating was just perfect for
                                                      enjoying the Lasershow comfortably!

Then the Bubble Man stopped beside our terrace and provided lots of bubbles for the kiddos to chase, so there were plenty of things to keep them occupied until it was dark.  That's when the magic begins!  David ended up laying in the grass with some of the other kid to watch, while I enjoyed my comfy chair on the Terrace next to him. I enjoy the traditions within the Lasershow and was pleased to find those are still in there! My favorites include: 
  • Heroes” - a salute to everyday heroes such as doctors, fire and rescue, police, etc.
  • Georgia Artists” - a tribute to favorite Peach State artists such as R.E.M., The Zac Brown Band, Ray Charles, Outkast, Indigo Girls, Phillip Phillips, Little Richard and James Brown.
  • The Devil Went Down to Georgia”- homage to the Charlie Daniels Band.
  • An American Trilogy” - an Elvis Presley segment bringing the Memorial Carving to life with lights and laser effects.
The new songs made great additions too! My son hasn't been to the Lasershow since he was 8 and he had a ball this year, not to mention he was completely worn out after all the running around he did. The fireworks are loud but spectacular! Oh, and don't be like me and forget your insect repellent – bugs always munch on me after dark, and this time was no exception. So pack it in your bag just to be safe!

If you choose to get Adventure passes, you will be able to take advantage of all of the fun attractions Stone Mountain offers – The Great Barn, Geyser Towers, Camp Highlands Outpost & Skyhike (ropes courses, zip line and rock climbing walls), The 4D Theater (currently showing Journey 2: The Mysterious Island 4D Experience), the Antebellum Plantation, the Scenic Railroad, Great Locomotive Chase Adventure Golf, Summit Skyride and more! Every time we've visited we've had great experiences at Stone Mountain Park. There is so much to do and see.

Collecting fruit in the Great Barn for points!

He's getting so big!

Camp Highland Outpost Adventure Course

                           Don't forget bathing suits and closed-toe shoes for playing in Geyser Towers! 

Here is more info from Stone Mountain Park: 

New for Summer 2014, Stone Mountain Park transforms the Lasershow Spectacular and its famous natural amphitheater yet again with More Lights, More Lasers and More Music! The show now features a lighting feature at the base of the mountain shining up like fingers of light showcasing the 825 foot mountainside. The addition of an overhead laser canopy effect now immerses guests as if they are a part of the show. Additionally, laser mirror bounce shots from all directions on the lawn create the effect of lasers jumping over guests’ heads. Plus, guests will love the updated music playlist featuring 10 new songs including “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel, to “Home” by Phillip Philips and Pharrell Williams’ cheery hit titled “Happy.”Stone Mountain Park’s Lasershow Spectacular is an Atlanta tradition and is the longest running lasershow in the world (now in its 31st year). The show features 45 minutes of dazzling fireworks, lights and laser effects all choreographed to great music.

The Lasershow Spectacular is free. Parking admission is $10 per vehicle. The best way to view the Lasershow Spectacular in Mountainvision is from the comfort and convenience of VIP Terrace seating, which includes snack or casual dining options. Reservations can be made online at

Great Savings: Guests can save on admission after 4 p.m. with a Sunset Adventure Pass & Lasershow Snack Terrace. The pass includes access to the Stone Mountain Park attractions from 4 p.m. until close and then watch the Lasershow from the comfort and convenience of a terrace seat, complete with popcorn and a drink for $21.95 (plus tax) per person.

Fun Fact: Lasershow reserved terrace seating was introduced in 2010 and there are 974 total reserved terrace seats available.

2014 Schedule

June 1-July 31   9:30 p.m.

August 1-3, 9, 16, 23   9:30 p.m.

August 29-31  9 p.m.

September 6, 13, 20, 27  8:30 p.m.

October 4, 11, 18, 25   8:00 p.m.

Contact information: 

Now for the fun part - another giveaway!! Stone Mountain Park is offering one reader a Family 4 pack of Adventure passes!!  Thanks so much, SMP!   You can play all day, and stay to watch the Lasershow on the lawn afterwards!   (Winner is responsible for $10 parking admission fee.)  Your family will enjoy making special memories while enjoying the attractions at Stone Mountain Park.  Enter via Rafflecopter widget below! Good luck!  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cheap Summer movie fun!

We love going to the movies, but it gets so expensive!  That's one of the many reasons I love summertime, when we can see some family-friendly movies for a great price.  So many theaters offer lower-priced tickets for families.  There used to be lots of free movies, but now the ones around here cost a little something.
Still, it beats full price!  Here are a few of the theaters participating in summer movie fun in 2014!
(These are the theaters we visit in the Atlanta area - feel free to leave the link to your favorite one if not mentioned and I'll add it to the list!)

Georgia Theater Company 
Summer Kid Show Series - admission is $1, popcorn and drinks are $1.50

Regal Cinemas:
Summer Movie Express - admission is $1

Carmike Cinemas:
Summer Kid Series - admission is $4, includes small drink and small popcorn

Summer Movie Clubhouse - admission is $1 per movie at the door, or buy a 10 movie punch card for $5.

Studio Movie Grill: 
Children's Summer Series - admission is $2

Hope you find some close by to visit this summer.  We're already putting our must-see movies on the calendar!