Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Is For Sharing

Summer is winding down... 
Whew, and what a summer it was...
and it looks as though I've taken a summer vacation 
from my sweet little blog... (not really)

I assure you, I am here.

Busy snapping photos,
 trying to soak in all that the season has to offer.  
The many seasons that is...
The drippy, sticky-sweet popsicle,
 hot and humid season of summer.
The way, way too short season of my children's childhood...
carefree days and new discoveries.
and we can't forget the fair season... 
The suspense-filled,
baking marathon that lasts all of seven days.

Lots of seasons...

Right now, I am sitting on quite a pile of photos  
trying to decide how to narrow down ALL the amazing things
 I want to share with you...

 For you...a sweetly condensed version...of our August:

I love sharing a new things...
I LOVE sharing anything that
falls into the category
of really and truly great.

All things.

Yes, up to and including
(ahem, boring-ish maybe to some readers)
vacation photos.

Great recipes, 
great ideas and 
great places... are simply made for sharing.

Our trip,
I think everyone should go.
It was just that good... our trip was so 
much fun and really educational.

It was my "East-Coast-Something-For-Everyone" vacation...
Beach, city, country, fun and history.
Go and do what we did and see what we saw...
It was so good I wish I could go back...
(Even if you can't go, you can enjoy  or 
pretend to enjoy looking through a few of our vacation highlights)

Let the sharing begin!!!

Fair season...
The Ohio State fair and our local county
fair were fabulous and I have quite a nice handful of 
ribbons to add to the collection!!

Oh, my goodness,
 the new recipes and better than ever, improved recipes... 
Just when you think you can't make a chocolate cake any better...
 and then BAM!

 I figured out a way to make it more chocolaty,  
even more moist, and just plain better-than-ever....  
Yes, THAT award-winning recipe is just around the corner.

88 first place wins is where I sit...  this year was so much fun.
New recipes from this fair season will be posted shortly.
(throughout the fall)

First places for jams, pies, and cakes, and
 cookies made this season especially sweet.

We took our super-amazing trip to the
 east coast for a little relaxation
 before school started... although I crammed so much in, 
I'm not sure how relaxing it was...  

I really need to be better about allowing time for sleep on these trips!!

The most relaxing and beachy part of our trip was our stay in Cape May, NJ.
We flew into Philadelphia and took a quick drive to the coast.

It's a very short car ride,
only a little over an hour drive.
(Short car ride= as long as you are not driving out
 on a Thursday or Friday-
I guess lots of local folks head to the beach on the weekends--
which makes perfect sense to me--so plan accordingly)

We hit it just right, driving in on a 
Tuesday afternoon -zero traffic.

Cape May is a gem, a real-life, true-blue slice of Americana.
America's Historic First Resort Town.

The town is picturesque, quaint, and everything you
 hope a historic resort town would be... 
lighthouse, sandy beaches, dolphins, whales and all.

We stayed at the Ocean Club Hotel,
 just steps away from the ocean.
Literally steps...
Ocean Club Hotel, Cape May NJ

We could hear the waves crashing onto 
the beach from our balcony.
It was a sooo relaxing...and after 
a busy summer of baseball games
 and baking, we were all ready to put our
 feet up and take in a new view.

It was simply wonderful.

The kids were each gifted a shovel and a 
sand pail  from the hotel at check-in, 
which we perfect, since sand castle building
 was on the top of their to-do list.
See what I mean...only a few steps to the ocean!! 

Cape May offered great food,
 miniature golf- 
(the really old fashioned kind with the
 motorized characters at each hole...) my favorite for sure...
pristine beaches,
 shells... and more shells...
historic Victorian homes, painted ladies... on almost every street... 
If you are a fan of architecture and history... yep, this is your place too...
amazing shopping....
and most of all a great place to reconnect and unplug.

Umm, have you had Rita's Italian ice??  
I LOVED it...

 First timer... and I loved it our whole vacation through...
So good.... and as luck would have it... 
we have found a Rita's not too far from our home...
 I can't even believe the good fortune of this find!!

 This was from our sunset dolphin cruise...we loved it.
Cape May Whalewatcher

We headed home driving, via a visit to Philadelphia.
We could have spent days and days
exploring the city and all it's history.

Some of our favorites from Philly included:
Franklin's Fountain
Independence Hall
The National Constitution Center
The Liberty Bell
Philly Cheese Steaks
Honey's Sit and Eat
Betsy Ross's Home...
where I picked up a new Betsy Ross 13-star flag for
our home... our old one was so faded...
it's the little things...
The Philadelphia Mint

Really, we only got to see a small fraction
of that gorgeous city...  
We are looking forward to going back.

We stopped in Lancaster, PA, fulfilling the country portion of our trip...

Hershey-Park and Chocolate World...

Making our own personalized chocolate bars...need I say more??
You had me a "Chocolate World" Hershey Pennsylvania.

What a  
really, really
great amusement park.
Every ride you can possibly imagine,
from breath taking new
super-fast roller coasters, to the classic wooden coasters....
all the festival rides from your childhood...
they are all there, nestled into this chocolate-filled wonderland...

The kids loved it. 
 It was so clean and so family-friendly,
 I highly recommend.
I rode more roller-coasters than I care to count...
Our family's favorite was 
the Wild Mouse... 
 So much fun!!
 (if you like that sort of silly and terrifying ride) 

We wrapped up or trip at Gettysburg.



Beautifully inspirational and profoundly sad... all rolled into
one outstanding National Military Park.

We took a tour from a licensed battlefield tour guide.
 It was absolutely the best way to see
the battlefield and here the stories that
would be most interesting and age-appropriate
 for our kids.

The kids got to hold real pieces of battlefield history right in their hands.

The two hours we spent touring the historic monuments,
 and the town of Gettysburg flew by.

Our guide was outstanding.
Thank you George Maturi for sharing
your love of history and your love of Gettysburg with our kiddos.
A true historian, sharing his story-telling gift with a new generation
of newly minted history buffs...priceless.

For information about tours visit:

We are back home now...
fully and wholly exhausted from a
 truly outstanding summer.

August, we take our hats off to you...
We are completely ready for summer
 to draw to a close after
all the fun we had.

We a settling into a new school-year routine 
and likewise, I am settling into a blogging mode.

I have some super-amazing BIG-BIG, 
news to share this week (maybe tomorrow)
 along with a ticket giveaway!!

I'm sharing really AMAZING 3-day early bird passes
to the Columbus Country Living Fair Sept. 16-18.
Yes...just for you!!!

Stay tuned for lots of new recipes, 
...just around the corner.

I'm a sharer...what can I say...

This post is 100% not sponsored by any of the people or places I mentioned.  
I am sharing based on my own personal experiences and all opinions are my own.

If you go I hope you LOVE it as our family did.


  1. Sounds like a great trip. I am a former Jersey girl-Cape May is gorgeous. I now live a stones throw away from Hershey PA in Lancaster county. We have been fairing ourselves. Love getting a fancy blue ribbon or Best of Show!! Can't wait to see your new recipes.

    1. We LOVED Cape is one of those sweet places you find and wonder how is it that "everyone" isn't talking about it?? Hershey and truly all of our drive through your beautiful state was gorgeous and scenic. We had such fun. I bet your fairs are top-notch...lots of excellent pie bakers to compete with!! Thanks so much for writing!!

    2. Believe it or not, I do not do pies. Chocolate cake and angel food cakes are my specialty.

    3. I'll be excited to hear what you think about the chocolate cake recipe!! I'll have to get busy on that post. I have not ever made an angel food cake from scratch... :) I'm also new to yeast breads... Although, I did win a best of show once for yeast cinnamon rolls-- maybe it was beginner's luck!! :)