Loving Lately….Plus Looking For Suggestions

As you all know winter is not my favorite time of year. There is very little I love about this season and anything and everything I can find to make me a bit happier during this time I savor. With that being said, let me share a bit of what I am loving lately. Plus, a few topics I am looking for suggestions about.

Bare Naked Granola’s New Flavor….Sea Salt Caramel Apple: I recently saw this in our local grocery store and just had to try it. I am not a huge dessert lover but this sounded like the perfect treat. I love it dry right from the palm of my hand or mixed 1/2 c. granola with 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk. I leave it soak over night or at least for a few hours to absorb the milk. Then it’s time to enjoy this sweet and salted mixture of yumminess!


Broccoli Slaw: One of the hardest parts of winter here in the midwest is that there are no fresh veggies unless they are shipped from miles away. Ultimately, meaning they are not fresh. Which in turn means I often struggle to find veggie recipes to add variety to our meal time. I recently gave broccoli slaw a try and have found it to be one of my favorite go to winter time veggies. I simply saute it in a pan with a bit of olive oil or I have even flavored it with soy, teriyaki sauce and even BBQ sauce. Plus, I have also found that my daycare children devour it….which is always a plus in my eyes. IMG_2859

Durable Duffel Bags: I can’t technically say I am loving this quite yet but I will be. Right now I am planning our next vacation and know we will be taking camping gear with us.  This means I need a big, durable, sturdy duffel bag that can handle being thrown around in  the airport and in camp. I am debating between two different bags at the moment, one being the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 120L and the second being the North Face Base Camp Duffel XL. If anyone has a recommendation for which will hold up better, I will be glad to hear your suggestion. They both seem similar, both come in nearly the same size, both are close to the same price and both have great reviews.

Double Camping Comforter: Ever since I purchased my down sleeping bag we have had a love hate relationship. I love that it keeps me nice and warm. I absolutely hate the mummy style. I move around a lot when I sleep. Just the thought of having to sleep in this sleeping bag zipped up gives me anxiety. So typically I sleep on top of my sleeping pad with the bag thrown over the top of me completely unzipped which works quite well. Although, I think we would really like a down quilt instead of hauling two separate sleeping bags every time we camp. I have looked at a few but again, I don’t know if it’s worth the money to just carry one item for sleeping. I will say, since purchasing our down comforter for our bed at home, I have never slept better with as little as one blanket on us during the winter months. If this is any measure of how happy I would be to have a down comforter for camping then I think maybe I should make this investment. What do you think????

Still Hiking: The last and final thing I am loving lately is that we are still able to hike and its the beginning of December. Yes, it’s cold and blustery at times but at least there is no snow covering our trails quite yet. I know I could hike in the snow, but honestly, I’d rather just stay inside and count the days until it all melts. So lately, I have been taking every free moment I can to venture to our local trails before they are all buried for the next few months. We even managed to sneak in a family hike the day after Thanksgiving which was quite nice.

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Winter Hike On The Ahnapee Trail

Today my husband and I decided to head outside and take a hike, find some winter geocaches and enjoy the fresh air. Aren’t you shocked? I will admit, I was not all that excited about this adventure but I really needed the break from routine. You all know I am not a winter weather lover but thankfully I do own some cold weather clothing for when the urge hits and I just need to get outside.

Today we hiked about 3 miles on the snow covered Ahnapee Trail starting in Forestville, WI. We started and completed many miles last winter and hope to finish this trail this winter. We have from Forestville to Sturgeon Bay remaining and today was as good as any to venture out.

Here is a unique hiding place for a geocache.


I personally love this trail. Any trial that follows a river or stream is just so relaxing for me that I often feel I could walk forever and never get tired of the scenery.


It ended up to be a great few hours together away from the big city and all the craziness of this time of year. Even though I had more layers of clothes on than I prefer it was great to be outside.


I also need to add that the best part of this whole day had to be when we arrived back at the parking lot. We noticed that the park where we started our hike had a bathroom building on the premisses but at this time there was no need for a visit. By the time we returned to the car, I asked my husband what his thoughts were on that bathroom possibly being open. He laughed and said it was very unlikely, which I knew. So we changed out of our boots, drove up to the bathroom and I noticed there were no footprints in the snow leading up to the bathroom door but I still had hope. He got out and tried the door and I couldn’t believe my eyes when it actually opened.


It is December in Wisconsin. No public park bathrooms are ever open at this time of year. He even took a quick look inside and announced that they even had it stocked with toilet paper…..OMG I was a happppppy hiker!!!! (Even though I do carry toilet paper in my backpack for emergencies) This really made my day.

So ladies, if ever you find yourself hiking the Ahnapee Trail in the little town of Forestville there is no need to worry about sqauting in the wilderness. They have very nice park attendants that unlock, clean, and stock the bathrooms, even in December:)