August 29, 2011

Some of my favorite Things

I am moving to UTAH!
So I will most likely not be doing Colorado updates, unless something amazing is happening that I wish I could go to and think that no one should miss.
So, with planning to move out of Colorado, I am jam packing our last month with some of the things I loved doing in Douglas County and will miss the most. I couldn't fit everything into our last month here, but here is my list:

"The miniature train has run in Belleview Park for over 30 years, averaging 60,000 riders annually."

"Come on down to the farm for a little bit of yesteryear. Enjoy getting to know some farm animals. Our barnyard will host cows, pigs, goats, chickens, and sheep just to name a few. The farm also features Buttercup, a life-size fiberglass milking cow. Try and see if you know how to milk our cow and experience how people used to get their milk down on the farm!"
$1.50 per person for the train, and $1.50 per person for the farm (under 2 is free)

The Children's Farm and Miniature Train are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

"The Littleton Museum is a 14-acre site encompassing an 1860s farm and 1890s farm with costumed interpreters, Littleton's original log schoolhouse, a 1903 working blacksmith shop, and an ice house. It is host to many events and programs each month. The museum, which is free to the general public, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. The museum is closed on Mondays and holidays."

"Climb the Rock" (the Castle Rock)
"Climb the Rock that is located in Castle Rock. This is an easy hike-a dirt path will lead you to the base of the Rock, from there you have to climb up the rock a short distance to reach the summit."

" A trail that leads to a fire tower lookout from where you can have a 360 degree view of the Rockies and Eastern Plains"

This is a little pricy, I think, for a one day visit with the family, but get a year membership, and you can go whenever you want and I think it is well worth it. You may even be able to find some good deals. I recently got a year membership through mamapedia for 60% off, so I got the Family Premier Membership (normally $100) for $40! This is great because it is all indoors too, so you don't have to worry about too hot or too cold weather.

This is my favorite and the only festival we go to. My husband isn't a festivally kind of person; but he looks forward to and loves this one. The kids love it because of the grape stomp (to make the little feet merlot wine). It takes place in September. This year, one September 10-11. Entrance and activities are free and you can easily find free parking.

The Spice Shops
So this isn't really an activity or event, but I love LOVE the two spice shops in Downtown Historic Littleton. Penzeys and the Savory Spice Shop. You have to try these out, changed my cooking! (This is kind of a few things in one because the Historic Downtown Littleton is awesome as well, and you HAVE to go to the Ladies Only Sample Tour if you can. I went one year, and tried to get tickets for the next year and they sold out on the first day, so you have to be FAST, but go if you can!)

Douglas County Parks
Civic Green Park is the new one I JUST discovered, of course, a month before having to move, but it is awesome. It has a little stream for the kids to play in, two splashpads, playground, grass field, covered picnic area, everything! Also right by the Highlands Ranch library!

I love Cornerstone Park in Littleton as well, and it is across the street from the Belleview Mini Train and Farm, it has a splashpad and fun park equipment and sand box.

There are probably 100s of parks in Douglas County, and they are all amazing and have different and fun things to offer, but I really love splashpads and fun playgrounds, so they are my top two. O'Brien Park in Parker is pretty awesome too, and Bison Park, Paintbrush Park, and Gemstone Park in Castle Rock are also some favorites. And they just built a brand new park on Castle Pines Parkway that is HUGE and awesome and has splash pads, so go check it out, the grand opening is September 17th. It is called Elk Ridge Park and is "located on Mira Vista Lane off of Lagae Road, just north of American Academy Charter School. Elk Ridge Park is multi-generational and consists of approximately 12 acres with trails, turf athletic fields, open space, art features, playground equipment, a natural amphitheater area, climbing wall, water features and much more."

This has a car entrance fee, but we all spent the day there and had so much fun!

The Streets at South Glenn water fountain

And just some other things I really love about Douglas County:
Douglas County has amazing libraries with awesome events for children going on all the time, and it's free. And membership is free, and rentals are free. It's all free, unless you rack up late fees (like me). AND you don't have to return books/movies to the same library you checked them out at, just any of the Douglas County libraries. Take advantage of the library if you live here!

These were REALLY close to where we lived and always had some great deals going on.

The Dever Metro area has tons of free days going on for all types of places, like the Zoo, Hudson Gardens, The Children's Museum. Check out HERE for more details. (this is a list of 2010, but you get the idea, and can know which places do free days from it).

This is a little pricy also I think, and doesn't offer any free days, but it is worth it. I would have gotten a year membership to either here or the Children's Museum if they weren't so far from my house. It is pretty big, has a large variety, and has an interactive stingray reef touch tank. The kids loved that part!

August 20, 2011

Oreo and Peanut Butter Layered Baby Lattice Pies

I saw this on Picky Palate and decided to make it for my husband's lunch club dessert. I thought they were pretty easy, and I have never done anything lattice before. They were also pretty delicious; I thought at least. The only things I would change would be to not be skimpy on the peanut butter. I wish I would have added twice as much in the layers, and the lattice actually looked pretty neat (although you can't see in the picture) but I would make the strips thicker. The recipe says to make long thin strips, so I did that, but on the pies that had thicker strips so that the lattice completely covered the top looked better. I also used a 4 inch round cookie cutter to cut out the dough instead of just "eyeing it" like the recipe says to. Someone at my husband's lunch club suggested to crush the oreos and then do the peanut butter, which I thought would be neat too, however you wouldn't get those cool looking layers. I also thought of putting chocolate chip cookie dough instead of the oreos but I didn't know how well that would transfer for cooking times, ect.

Click here to go to the recipe at Picky Palate.

August 10, 2011

Banana Blueberry Cream Pie

1 Banana, sliced
1 can blueberry pie filling
1 graham cracker crust
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ox.) container cool whip

Cream together the cream cheese and cool whip. (I added a little powdered sugar and vanilla extract to mine). Pour half of mix into crust. Layer with bananas, then pour the rest of cream mixture on top. Top with blueberry pie filling and chill.

*the original recipe called for 2 cream cheese packages and 2 cool whips, but that was WAY too much for my pie, it also said to do 3 layers of cream/banana/cream/banana, but I could only fit one layer. If you did want to do two pies, you could definitely use the two packages of cream cheese and cool whip and split one can of blueberry pie filling. I got this recipe from my Mom, but I can't remember where she got it from.

August 05, 2011

Summer Hose Wreath

Even though most everyone has started school already, I can still post a summer craft thing, right? This is a cute summer wreath that my mom made using a hose, some flowers, gloves, and a nest. A very cute, easy and inexpensive way to decorate for summer.


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