Saturday, May 28, 2011

Packing Light

Okay, I'm off to Kenya today!  Because we'll always be on the move while in Kenya, my husband and I decided to only take a backpack a piece!  We will be there for 2 weeks, so that means we had to pick and choose the essentials!  One of my blog followers had a great idea for me to do a post about how I would fit everything I needed!  It was fun to pack, I've got to say, and thanks to Of the Fountain, it's here for everyone to see!  Speaking of going to Kenya, that also means I won't be blogging for the next couple of weeks.  I will be back mid-June with lots of pictures and stories to share, though!  Look forward to all the blogging material I'll get while I'm there:)
Here's what I packed:
- 3 Dresses
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 1 pair of pants
- 5-6 tank tops
- 3 shirts
- 1 small first aid kit (bandaids, medicine, etc)
- 2 swim suits
- 1 plastic bag of liquid essentials (all travel size, of course, because of airport security rules).  This included sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, shave gel, toothpaste, and bug spray.
- 1 pair of flip flops
- 1 pair of leggings
- 10 pairs of "unders" and a few sports bras

First, I laid everything out and organized.  This made me get rid of a couple of extra shorts and dresses (yes, I actually originally had more than what I listed, if you can believe that)!

Next, make sure you have the true "essentials," like your first aid kit and toiletries.  I can live without my favorite pair of shorts if I have to, but I can't forget my anti-malaria medicine!!

Make sure you have a good size backpack.  This one isn't too big - small enough to feel comfortable carrying around all day long, but larger than your average school kid backpack.  It is Deisel brand, and we bought it online for about $50.

Then, ROLL all your clothes.  This makes them small and compact.  I put the larger rolls in the bottom to give it a good base.  Don't forget that you can also fill the sides of the bag along the zipper!

It all fits!!  Now if I can just get it zipped, it will be a success...

SUCCESS!!  On my way to KENYA!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Favorite Friday... On Thursday!

Okay, I am all confused this week!  I did Treasury Tuesday on Wednesday, and now I'm doing Favorite Friday on Thursday!  I wanted to reserve tomorrow's post to post pictures and details of how I am packing for my upcoming trip to Kenya!  I'm going for 2 weeks, but I'm only taking a back pack!  Someone mentioned on a previous post that it would be fun if I did a tutorial, and I agree!  So, you'll have "Packing Light" to look forward to tomorrow, but I didn't want to miss out on listing a favorite this week!

So, my "favorite" for today is my favorite sandwich shop EVER!  It is Happy Gillis, here in Kansas City.  I am a sandwich lover.  I don't know why, but turkey sandwiches have always been one of my favorite foods.  Boring, you say?  Perhaps...  Growing up poor in Louisiana, in a family of 7, catching or growing almost everything we ate, I somehow learned to love the simplicity of eating something you didn't have to skin, peel, or gig to have lunch!  Sandwiches for lunch meant we didn't have to prepare for hours, nor did we have to go out on the swamp late the night before to prepare for the next day - it was a treat!  And today, I still have a love for sandwiches, although I'm much more picky about what I put on it:)  Happy Gillis is by far my favorite sandwich shop.  They use all fresh organic ingredients and change their menu every day, so there's always something new to try!  It is a great atmosphere, with just a few people working behind the counter, and a few tables and couches inside, with a few tables outside to enjoy your lunch on a nice day.  I am craving it now, just thinking about it!!  You can check out their website at

So, there you have it.  If you're near Kansas City, please go by and check it out sometime - you'll thank me!  If you're not in the Kansas City area, it's somewhere you MUST go if you ever come to visit! 
Side note - I will be in NYC on Saturday.  I've never been - if you know of any great sandwich shops there, I'd love to hear about it!!

Photos of Happy Gillis!  Retreived from:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Favorite Friday!

So, now that I've got Treasury Tuesday under control, I've decided to add a "Favorite Friday!"  Each Friday, I will post about something that's my favorite of the moment - it could be anything from a favorite recipe, to a favorite item or seller on etsy, to my favorite movie or restaurant!  I like to keep it open to explore many different sides of me:)
Today, I want to share a favorite recipe.  It is a little messy, but super simple and undeniably delicious!  I must give credit to Kraft Foods ( for this one.  The one suggestion I will give is to mix the cream cheese and oreos together with your hands.  It's messy, but it really mixes it well:)  The best part is that you can change it up for any occasion!  I've made them with white chocolate and mixed in some red for a pink day at work a few times, experimented with different coatings, and you could even be adventurous and add something new to the cream cheese mixture!  Try it - you'll be very happy you did:)

What You Need

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg.  (16.6 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 4-1/4 cups), divided
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

Make It

MIX cream cheese and 3 cups cookie crumbs until well blended. SHAPE into 48 (1-inch) balls. Dip in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs. REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

10 Days and Counting...

In 10 days, I will be on my way to Kenya!  My husband and I are celebrating our 5 year anniversary with the biggest trip of our lives so far.  We started planning almost a year ago, and I can hardly believe it's only 10 days away!  We are going to be in Kenya for 12 days.  It takes a full day of travel to get there and a full day of travel to get back, which puts us at a full 2 weeks of much needed vaca.  While we are there, we are mixing it up and doing a variety of things.  Of course we'll do a few days of safari.  Hope to see lots of animals!  We are also going to get a bit of the culture, get to walk around with a local Masai warrior and meet villagers, visit a local orphanage, do some philanthropy work in a village (I think we've decided we're going to barter for a goat to give a family:).  We are going to visit a tea plantation or two, and we also are getting the amazing opportunity to meet and visit with a child that we have been sponsoring for several years.  He lives on the coast of Kenya, so we'll get some beach time while we're there!  It is going to be so amazing, and I just won't want to come back!!
 The other day, we practiced packing our bags (I know - silly:).  We are only taking one backpack each, considering we will always be on the move.  The hotels will have laundry service, so we'll be taking full advantage of that!  Things I keep reminding myself about - Buy plug converters!  Don't brush my teeth with faucet water (that's always hard to remember).  Start taking garlic pills ASAP! 

Sopa Hotel
Masai Villagers
Can't wait to see this view!
Tented Camp Hotel

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Some of my Faves

Today, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite items and shops on Etsy!  While I am a seller on etsy, I'm also a buyer!  I just love finding such fun, one of a kind gifts for my loved ones (and for myself:).  Check out these fun finds and check out their shops for more!

Tribal Terracotta Necklace -
Turquoise Straightpin Necklace -

Crochet Monster -
Ruffled Work Dress -
Grey Stripes Scarf -
Organic Embroidered Wall Hanging -  
Hannah Earrings -
Cream and Satin  Flower Headband -
Moss Carpet Bag -