Cinco De Mayo Fiesta Menu

FLASHBACK TO 2009!! I found this old post from our Cinco de Mayo fiesta 8 years ago and had to resurrect it. This was SUCH a fun party if you’re looking for some Cinco de Mayo fun this weekend!

If only I knew where my photos were from that year…..sigh.

Thankfully we’ve also come a ways in eating REAL food and there is so much of this that can be done with great ingredients, so lose the Lime Tostitos, Velveeta and the Diet Coke with Lime ๐Ÿ˜‰
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One day left before the big Nacho Libre Fiesta and I think Iโ€™ve narrowed down the menu.ย  If youโ€™re thinking of doing a Cinco de Mayo party at all this week here are some recipes and menu ideas Iโ€™ve rounded up that may be helpful.ย  We will have about 20 guests total.ย  Iโ€™ll post a follow-up next week to show how things went!

Taco Bar

  • Carne Asada (steaks thinly sliced and set in this marinade for 24+ hours)
  • Shredded Chicken (chicken breasts in Chipotle Lime marinade for 24+ hours)
  • Ground Beef with the organic taco seasoning
  • Crumbled Mexican Queso Fresco
  • Shredded White Blend Mexican Cheeses
  • Tomatoes, Onions, Lettuce, Cilantro
  • Corn and Flour tortillas from our local Mexican market
    (check and see if you have a local Mexican food market โ€“ the quality is MUCH better & they are generally cheaper)

Chips/Salsa Station

  • tortilla chips
  • Black Bean & Roasted Corn salsa
  • tomatillo salsa
    (tomatillos (halved, face down) and corn roasted under broiler, tiny bit of jalepeno, lime juice, onion, garlic, salt, pinch of sugar)
  • mango salsa
    (1 diced mango, can sweet corn, chopped red onion, chopped tomato, cilantro, lime juice, pinch of sugar)
  • guacamole
  • So-bad-for-you chili cheese dip (block of velveeta melted with 1 can hormel chile no beans)

Sides

  • Elote (mexican corn on the cob) as featured in Nacho Libre
  • Black Bean Cakes
  • Tostones (fried plantains) with garlic salt (best if plantains are still a bit green but just starting to yellow)

Desserts

Drinks

  • Margaritas
  • Diet Coke with Lime
  • Fresh squeezed Ginger Lemonade

Anyone else doing any Cinco de Mayo festivities?

FarmFit!

This week’s farm task is prepping our garden area so we have a spot for the pretty raised beds we are constructing. We decided on a plot of land not too far from the house to start this venture, but there is not a flat spot up here, so we get to

1) move a LOT of dirt

2) terrace the raised beds

3) all of the above

Before any of that, we had a few dead trees that had to come down, so that leads to today’s WOD:: tree flipping! Who needs a gym when you have these tasks at hand?!

Seriously:: want to save a lot of $$, get an amazing workout, fresh air and sunshine!? We can hook you up! ?

We are planning to use part of this tree to fill the bottom half of the raised beds to compost out and also help with water retention. Hoping and praying our old tractor will help us with the next phases – brush clearing and turning up the dirt!

Welcome to Apple Trail Farm!

  • We are so excited to finally land in this place we will call home and begin to develop our dreams to have a small bio-dynamic farm! So thankful for the twists and turns of life that have brought us here.The agenda moving forward is to spend time together as a full-time family learning the skills needed to love Jesus, grow healthy food, be responsible with our environment, contribute to our community, share essential oils, educate others on natural living options, and have lots of adventure along the way!

    We look forward to continued airstream travels in our future, but stay tuned for more information on our tiny home on wheels taking on a special role as a landing spot/guest house for those of you who want to make western NC part of your travels and adventures!

    Follow along as we learn how to do this as we go ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure we will make lots of mistakes and learn a lot the hard way, but we sure can’t wait to jump in and get started.

    Our current projects:
    ~ renovating our 1960’s mountain farmhouse cabin located in the center of our 30 acre property
    ~ working the land and the pastures
    ~ growing an organic bio-dynamic garden
    ~ cultivating a ‘food forest’

    In the next few years we’ll also plan to raise a large barn, add in chickens and some animals and harvest a few choice crops….including lots of apples from our apple trees that line ‘Apple Trail!’

Raised Beds

We have been working hard moving stuff into the house, but we decided that our first big farm project (our list is long) would be to start our garden!

Not only will this give us {fingers crossed} lots of delicious organic produce, but will be a great thing for us to work on as a family and help us get off to a running start to working this land and having our farm actually produce something!

So we’ve started all our seeds and have a good batch of little things ready for their new homes. With the weather warming up and the ideal day to plant approaching (thanks, master gardener at the local market for your tips), it is time to build the raised beds.

We originally wanted to wait on a garden this year and had told ourselves we would not jump into anything this year since we needed time to survey the land and get to know what will work and what won’t, but of course we could not help ourselves and what better way to learn than experience, right?!

The garden will be grown with 100% organic seed and we’re going to attempt to control pests via companion planting. I’m sure we will make lots of mistakes along the way, but so far we have a good little batch of plants growing in!

We opted for raised beds for several reasons, the main being that we may learn the position of the garden may need adjusting over the years, and we can better control the soil and make adjustments as needed. We also plan to dig a trough for water collection around the top slope near the garden that will help retain a lot of water that the plants can pull from as needed. Thankfully here in North Carolina we get a lot of rain and things seem to grow really well without much assistance.

We’reย  using a mix of corrugated metal and cedar to construct the beds. The corrugated metal cut down on the cost of making the entire things from cedar and also give them a fun industrial farm look. They finished the first 8′ x 4′ bed today as the prototype. It is over 2′ high which I think is quite a bit deeper than we will need or want, but we’ll see how that goes. We have a LOT of great usable dirt that we can pull from on the land, but are searching for a front end loader attachment for our tractor before we can really move the dirt that we want. Thankfully the farm came with an old John Deere tractor so we at least have something to work with and add attachments to as we move forwards.

We are still arranging the final layout of the garden area and have several more beds to construct, so I’ll do an updated post when we get them all built and put in!

the mountains are callingย 

You know how the best things in life happen when you least expect it?! So much has changed for us in 2017. We stumbled upon a gem of a spot late January, and one thing led to another. March 31 we closed on our new home and 30 acres in the mountains of western NC! It has already been a huge adventure….one that is just beginning.


While our love for travel and adventure has not changed, our desire to have a home base and a place we can stay outdoors and work the land has led us to this area. We had never imagined western North Carolina would be the place we’d call home, but now that we’re here we could not imagine it any other way!

The climate is very moderate both in summers and winters which will be a welcome change from the heat of the California desert. The views make it easy to hop out of bed in the morning and beckon for a cup of coffee with friends on the rocking chairs to wind down the day.

We have dreamed for as long as we can remember of eventually finding some land to homestead and let the kids run – to live a simpler, cleaner life and do it on purpose. While we aren’t planning on taking on animals for awhile so we can still hit the road in the airstream (once it returns from FL with all the repairs), we have an abundance of fruit trees and are seeding for our garden that will hopefully produce a lot of good food for us throughout the years. Amazing at how the boys are thriving in this new setting already. It’s like having a private mountain campground and the best part is we have no TV or screens to tie up their minds. They are playing hard, sleeping hard, and their sense of imagination and adventure is growing each day.

We couldn’t help but jump right into our projects and we have a long list that we’ll have to pace ourselves on over the years. First thing that had to go up was the new tree swing and we have spent the better part of the past 2 weeks cleaning out a lot of the house and old furniture as the original owners passed on about 17 years ago and it has only been used as a short term vacation rental since.

While life in a small town will be a bit of an adjustment, we love the idea of the slower pace and have already met some wonderful people in the community.

Stay tuned for our updates on building a homestead, lots of fixer uppers (renovating our old mountain cottage/farmhouse), landscape projects, beyond organic gardening and our journey to create a small permaculture farm in time with the 30 acres we have been given! We hope you’ll follow us on this new chapter of our ever changing journey – we enjoy sharing this with you and hope for lots of friends and family to join us here in this new home!
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What next?

So I really thought we should name the airstream Waldo, but it seemed rather masculine for it….after many conversations about the name we still have yet to nail one down since our children had strongly opposing opinions on the matter. Anyway, name or not, our little tiny home has landed for awhile and we are taking a ‘break’ with some family. In fact, they want us to stay around so much that they are actually finishing out their basement so that we can have a ‘landing spot’ to come during our travels with some of our own furniture from our last sticks and bricks house!! Can you believe that!? We are super blessed that they would even consider doing that for us, and we are helping right now as they finish off that basement area (which is actually larger than our last house). So yes, before we’re even fully done with the airstream we’ve found ourselves knee deep in another renovation project, but I guess we know by now we’re suckers for a good renovation. While we’ve had fun staying here for an extended visit with LOTS of space, we miss some of the simplicity of our tiny home and having all the essentials right there at our fingertips.

Never to worry, we are hitting the road again in a few weeks and will focus on traveling around the ‘other’ side of the country for most of this summer! While I can’t pretend for a second that I don’t miss California weather, it is fun to get out and see all of our wonderful friends on the east side ๐Ÿ™‚

We are looking at 2017 being a GREAT year for us as a family, traveling this half of the country and visiting many of your smiling faces. Our 6 month crash into full time life on the road was a big success, despite doing part of it in construction and going WAY too fast for what we wanted to be able to spend time in each place and really get to know it well.

Our favorite take-away from the 12 states and 12,000 miles we put on the new truck was probably the time we had on the Oregon coast. We saw SO MANY beautiful places, but that one struck a special place in our hearts. Not sure if it was enough to pull us back to stay, but we still have a lot more states to explore!! Along with this transition, we are FINALLY settling in to a pace that we can manage, doing school with the boys and traveling around teaching lots of awesome people more about natural lifestyle changes and how to use essential oils. That also means I have more time now to keep up with our travels and our posts, which makes me happy. There are way too many memories that we’ve made not to document them and share them with those who are following our journey!

Stay tuned for our 2017 adventures!!

People make the places

I’m pretty mad at myself. We are over 2 months into our life on the road and have been so busy figuring out this new life that I have been a complete failure at documenting our journey short of an Instagram photo a day (hey, at least we’ve got that going)! 

More than just a travel log, I want to capture the little things – stories of the people and the moments. Like the time we took a turn off because a boy needed a potty break and found ourselves in the little one horse town of Concrete, Washington.  Not only did we stumble upon an entirely gluten free cafe that was like a little slice of heaven for our two who usually can’t order much when we go out to eat, but we struck up conversation (and by we, I mean Erin since we all know he’s the outgoing one) with a guy who turned out to be the pastor of the church in town. In a matter of minutes it felt like we had friends there and before we knew it, our kids had a few new toys for the road and he was sending us off with a blessing and a basket full of fresh apples right off their tree. 

Or the new friend I made who chatter with me for 2 hours in an ER on Whidbey Island while our youngest was covered in blood and waiting for stitches.

Or a friend we know through doterra who opened up her cabin to us, allowed us to park at her house, made us a delicious salmon dinner and took us fishing the next morning. We may have only seen her a few times before this, but she treated us like family and the kids never wanted to leave.

Or the friend of Erin’s we met up with this week that he had not seen in years, who drove to another town in the pouring rain (though I guess there used to that up here in the PNW) and spent a few hours with us in the weirdest little coffee shop we’ve encountered yet. Who got on the ground and played with our kids. They cried when he left because they wanted to spend more time with him.

Their are still good people out there, and finding them is what makes our travel rich. It’s not the scenery, though breathtaking, because after awhile all the beautiful mountains, beaches and landscapes look the same. It’s the people. Life on the road is amazing, but lonely when you are moving from place to place. The people – both new and old friends that we are crossing paths with and the memories we are making with each other are the highlights of each week! I want to document the stories that our travel atlas maps will not be able to tell 10 years down the road!

Pismo Beach – CA Central Coast

There is nothing as wonderful as waking up to the sound of the ocean, a cool breeze with overcast skies and nothing on the agenda for the day.


 Last night we rolled into our campsite at Oceano Dunes – Pismo Beach State Park!


This morning we set out on the trail from the camp to the beach with no idea what we would find. Thankfully after a pretty little walk through some wooded areas we came through the clearing to these awesome sand dunes for miles. 


So the shoes came off and hours of running, sliding, jumping fun in the softest, finest sand we have found in this country ensued.


Thankfully they wore out for a short bit and I had a few minutes to snap some pics against this perfect coastal dunes backdrop.


We also discovered Pismo recreational vehicle area is the only place on the CA coast that you can drive your vehicles right onto the beach (at your own risk of getting stuck, of course). Thankfully the beach was still open and beautiful with the occasional horseback rider in the distance.


Pismo is a nice change from the crowded beaches of LA or the rugged coastline further south, and we LOVE the cooler climate of central coast!!

SoLong SoCal

Driving out of LA and Malibu is exciting since I have never been further north in CA than Hollywood! It is crazy how fast the landscape changes just moving into central coast. We wanted to explore some of the coastline in this beautiful stretch, so found a place at Pismo Beach and decided to take a longer than usual day driving and push out a lot of mileage today. 

For those who have renovated airstreams, you know you can’t be in Santa Barbara without checking out some of Hoffman’s work. We were just quickly stopping through but caught sight of the Santa Barbara Auto Park!

Santa Barbara was a cute little town, but in order to cover our ground we kept on driving.

It is amazing how much wide open space there is in central coast! Beautiful farmland, rolling hills and of course, fabulous sunsets. We had fun dreaming of all the places that maybe we could see ourselves landing in one day, but for now….more adventure awaits!

Malibu + seafood

Before leaving LA we had to make a stop at Camping World – it was my first ever trip and I’m sure some sort of rite of passage into camping life. Funny the little things that you care about once your only home is a tiny house on wheels. After loading up and getting all hooked up with our ‘Good Sam’ discounts, we were ready to hit the road toward the central coast…..via Malibu, of course.

We have hit some AWESOME little places to eat so far on this trip, but this one takes the cake for the BEST fish and chips I have had to date (I’ve eaten a lot of fish and chips). My former front runner was the Fisherman’s in San Clemente, but for now this one will knock them down a spot. It’s literally right on the coast hwy and we almost drove past it, but quickly pulled our massive caravan off the road and hopped out to run back to Malibu Seafood.

WARNING: this is not a healthy lunch. Actually 1/2 of this had to go right back because of a massive miscommunication in the food allergy department (despite a long conversation about how they could only have GRILLED fish). They were amazing though, and remedied the boys’ meals with a delicious and super generous portion of grilled fish – perfectly cooked and topped with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Their cilantro lime sauce on the halibut was TO DIE FOR. Even the slaw goes down in our books as the best we’ve had. Fried seafood perfection and definitely worth the stop (though the crowds picked up fast when it was actually starting to approach the dinner hour). Luckily for us we are all off schedule and realized around 4pm we had yet to eat a meal that day.

The view isn’t half bad either ๐Ÿ™‚

Trying to get three boys to pose for a pic is such a joyful experience. ha!

For a few hours of our lives, we had beach front property in Malibu!! I even had to clean up a massive balsamic vinegar incident and mop the kitchen floors – all right here in the celebrity playground of America. Watch out, Ellen – we’re right next door!

We thought about taking up residence here for awhile, but there is still so much coast to see and so little time, so we must keep. on. driving.

Adios SoCal! It’s been fun! We’ll be back in a few weeks – unfortunately not to this cool breeze and ocean view, but we know we’ll return again soon. E has spent the majority of his life in southern california and there really is no place on earth like it. So beautiful, but we’re ready to explore some new territory!

Hermosa Beach

Hopping right up the coast of LA, we decided Hermosa Beach was a fine place to spend a Sunday afternoon. Still on the hunt for a perfect little cabinet to house my computer so we can get a work/desk area set up in the airstream, the boys went exploring while Hannah and I decided to hit up a few more antique shops. Check out this random large giraffe at the top of the stairs. I could have a larger than life zoo with all these random animals I keep coming across. Rattan giraffe + sequined elephant could start one heck of a collection. Thankfully have have NO space for that, so I am already learning the art of window shopping only.

There were definitely a few finds Hannah needed to take home – this along with the oversized palm tree cardigan sweater would have been a match made in heaven ๐Ÿ™‚

Meanwhile, back at the pier, little Z is hamming it up with Lucy and loving his doggie time.

The people watching was good, so we grabbed an outdoor table at a cute little restaurant and enjoyed our last bit of time hanging out before they had to head back to the scorching desert [sorry, guys].

Traveling and exploring is fun, but even WAY more fun when you have friends join in for part of the adventures along the way! So thankful for people who will drive a few hours just to hang out, sleep in their car, have some good food and drinks and adventure around town with us! For now, time to keep moving north!

Huntington Beach

It’s Huntington Beach weekend and we are SO excited that Hannah and Alex + Gunny and Lucy {their fur pups} came to visit for a few days of fun!!

The boys don’t get to be around dogs much (due to Evan’s allergies) but they LOVE them and were super fired up to be able to hit the beach with the dogs too! After being in San Onofre where the surf was beautiful, but awful for wading or swimming, they were over the moon to be able to have a nice spot to play in the sand AND the water at Huntington Beach Dog Beach!


Little Z loves bossing the dogs around – finally someone that is closer to his size!

Sandcastles for days.


Funny the conversations that fellow dog owners will strike up randomly – or people walking by admiring the dogs. Overall the HB dog beach was awesome and the boys had a BLAST boogieboarding…..until one super awful dog ran up on the beach and decided to use the boogieboard as his chew toy – WITH my 6 year old still on it. At first we thought surely it was an accident and the owner would be stumbling with apologies, but then the stupid guy let the dog go right back and do it again!!! Talk about FURIOUS!!! I could not get over there fast enough. Not only did the freakin dog tear up our NEW boogie board, but he was inches from having E’s arm right there in the mix. Then the dude had the audacity to walk away while I was confronting him about what just happened. Seriously ๐Ÿ™ Some people are unbelievable! The boys were so bummed their boogie board is once again broken. Good news is they had SUCH a blast out there in the chilly water shivering in their wetsuits and riding their little waves in that they moved on…..much faster than I did!

After leaving the beach we met up with another friend {Mr. Wyatt} who lives in the area and congregated for an awesome cookout back at the airstream camp site!

Quite a perfect beach day – hours of playing in the sand and water followed by an amazing steak kabob + veggie roast with a full table of friends, some good wine and a camp fire with marshmallows! Hearts and tummies are full and 3 little boys are completely exhausted!

Seal Beach

Beach hopping continues! We drove up the coast about an hour to our new destination: Seal Beach! Our campsite here is actually not a campground, but an RV park. We are quickly learning there is definitely a difference between the two! Since we are just starting out, we did not realize (what is probably common knowledge for full timers) that RV parks in general do not allow tents or have campfire pits (which by this time was actually a welcome change). We are at the Seabreeze RV park which is extremely nice, clean and uncomfortably quiet. I’m not entirely sure there is anyone here – maybe just a bunch of empty RVs parked here for the summer? Either way – it’s our first time having FULL hookups!!! We are a bit excited to finally be able to use the sinks without apprehension (though still trying to conserve and be responsible) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Seal Beach is a cute little beach town sandwiched between Huntington Beach and Long Beach just south of LA.

Since we LOVE food and love to find great local places, we often look to YELP to scout out the highest reviewed non-chain (when possible) place to eat that uses real, fresh food that can be made allergen free and safe for the kiddos. Our search in this area landed us at Cesar’s Bistro…

This little spot is AMAZING – we’d highly recommend it. The service was fantastic and it felt like we had known our server forever by the time we left. They were very accommodating to the allergies and had excellent gluten free options since a lot of their ‘breads’ were home made with corn. Check out the presentation here! This is the Caribbean pulled pork and the salad was something I’d come back for alone – so much flavor!

Had to finish off the meal with sweet plantains, of course.

Definitely check this place out if you’re in the area!

San Clemente

We’ve been coming to San Clemente for the past 4 years for every pediatrician appointment that the boys have – sometimes with a 3 hour drive in each way. It is always 100% worth it for so many reasons! First of all, our pediatrician is hands down the BEST there is. We’ve been seeing Dr. Sears for several years and I have never once left there feeling like we did not get amazing care that was completely geared toward the best interest of our kids. Dr. Bob has worked with us to find the most natural options to take care of whatever they are dealing with and has been great to work with through some of our more difficult challenges dealing with 2 of the boys’ food allergies.

The boys love their visits to see Dr. Bob! I also loved that I have been able to partner with the Sears Wellness Institute as a Certified Health Coach to learn more how to support their nutrition and teach others what we have learned through the years. The boys did great on their check-ups and are all super healthy and strong!

While loading up on donuts may seem very ironic after finishing up well visits, we could not pass up a trip to Sensitive Sweets bakery seeing as they are RIGHT across the street from Dr. Bob’s office. It’s not every day (or EVER) that we have a completely allergen free bakery in the area, so it was super fun to take the boys in and they could have ANYTHING they wanted and know it was completely safe. They are a gluten free, dairy free, nut free, peanut free, soy free, egg free bakery with 2 locations in CA. For those of you who only dream of a place like this, check them out at www.sensitivesweets.com because they SHIP too! Awesome! So the boys could not decide so we did a little sampler of the blueberry muffins, cupcakes, donuts and pumpkin spice donut holes. ๐Ÿ™‚

For those who have kids with food allergies, you know how happy it makes your heart to see them enjoy a rare treat that normally they cannot have. <3

San Clemente is such a charming little town. Since we are looking for a small cabinet to store our computer in while we travel, I had fun searching through antique stores. La Casa Verde is a cute little shop on Granada St that you definitely want to check out if you’re in the area! Some of our FAVORITE spots to eat are South of Nick’s (upscale Mexican) and Mimosa’s for breakfast/brunch. The Fisherman’s is another great spot if you want to grab fish and chips on the pier, but it’s super touristy and usually has a long wait, so we prefer the more local stuff off the beaten path.

There are few places as charming as wandering the streets of San Clemente. We literally could stay here forever, but we have to get rolling on our adventures, so time to say adios and start our drive up the coast! san clemente 4

seaside & sunsets

The beach is definitely one of our favorite places. The boys LOVE literally rolling around in the sand for hours. Middle little made this portrait of mommy and daddy in the sand today.

Here’s the glamorous campground bathroom selfie. Getting used to life with lots of dirt and very few showers. Thankfully this place has free showers – we do have a shower set up in the airstream, but we do NOT have full hookups here, so that means one shower pretty much will fill our grey water tank which is a HUGE pain. Moving the airstream once it’s set up at the campground is not something you want to have to do, so when we do not have a sewer hookup we have to 1) not use much water AT ALL or 2) hope that one of the mobile trucks that drives around and drains your tank for a fee has the right hookup for our system or 3) buy a mobile dumping tank that looks like a little enclosed wagon. This is not something we’ve wanted to do yet since we don’t have a spot to haul it around and store it and they are super expensive considering it’s just a plastic tank on wheels.

So for now we’re trying to use the campground showers as much as possible and when we wash dishes we scrape the food off, soap them up and then try and use one bucket of water to rinse them all off. It’s a good lesson in conservation and considering CA is in a 5 year long drought probably a necessary practice no matter what. It’s been great to teach the boys more about conserving!

Once again, all of these adjustments seem like just a small price to pay for these VIEWS! This will go down as one of the most beautiful sunsets I have EVER seen. EVER. We had a little glimpse of heaven tonight watching the sun go down on our last night here at the San Onofre Campground. Until next time!